Education board welcomes new member, chair

dyawger@mercedsunstar.comDecember 17, 2012 

Evelyn Eagleton has been named chairman of the Merced County Board of Education, which also welcomed new member Gloria Honey and bid farewell to Rudy Albritton at Monday's meeting.

Eagleton is beginning her fourth year on the board. A former assistant superintendent of career and alternative education, Eagleton served 32 years with the Merced County Office of Education.

"We have always had good fiscal management," Eagleton said. "We are in a position that is solid. Our administration and finance people tended to be conservative.

"It's going to be a good year; we listen to one another," she said. "Everybody works well together. Even if we don't agree, we are able to talk through it and make it work."

Eagleton said the current board has a good mix of people and is confident they will be able to maintain the solid financial footing even in hard times.

She replaces Fred Honore as chairman.

Albritton was elected in April 2003, replacing Sybil Crookham on the five-person board. He represented Atwater and Winton areas, and retired from the Air Force at Castle in 1980 as a master sergeant after 26 years of service.

Albritton was director of financial aid at Merced College from 1989 to 2003.

The biggest accomplishments he cited are the development of UC Merced and the growth of the Virginia Smith Trust scholarship fund.

"My focus has been to do all I can to get our kids educated," Albritton said. "My main purpose is to benefit the children."

Albritton's successor, Gloria Honey of Winton, was unopposed for election last month. Mary Ellen Chavez of Planada was elected vice chairman.

Reporter Doane Yawger can be reached at (209) 385-2407 or dyawger@mercedsunstar.com.

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