College of The Albemarle announces new and reappointed Board of Trustees members, appointed officers

Judge Jeffrey Moreland performs the swearing-in ceremony for (l-r) Barry Overman, Edward Thornton, Travis Gilliard and Patti Kersey. (Submitted/COA)

College of The Albemarle (COA) Board of Trustees met for their Regular Meeting on August 8, 2023, at 5:30 p.m. at COA – Elizabeth City. The Board of Trustees welcomed new members, Barry Overman and Edward Thornton. They also welcomed the reappointment of Patti Kersey and Travis Gilliard. Additionally, the Board reappointed officers as required in the COA Board of Trustees Bylaws. David Harris, chair for 2022-2023, was reappointed to serve as chair for 2023-2024. Tommy Fulcher who served as vice chair for 2022-2023 was also reappointed to that role.

Barry Overman joins the COA Board of Trustees as appointed by the Pasquotank County Commissioners. Overman has extensive experience in public service, serving the Elizabeth City Fire Department from 1988 to 2019, retiring as the Operations Deputy Chief. He currently serves as the Fire Chief for the Weeksville Volunteer Fire Department where he has volunteered since 1987.  After a brief time of retirement from the City of Elizabeth City, he returned to his passion, working for the North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal, under the North Carolina Department of Insurance, serving as an investigator for the Northeast region. Overman has served and continues to serve on numerous boards and committees, both locally and at the state level. Currently, Overman serves as a Pasquotank County Commissioner, having also served as a board member for the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Public Schools from 2010 to 2018. Additionally, he earned his certification in Basic Law Enforcement Training from COA. Overman joins the Board to replace Robert Pippen who completed his term in June. Pippen served on the Board from 2018 to 2023.

Edward Thornton joins the COA Board of Trustees as appointed by the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank Board of Education. Thornton has been an educator and coach since 1982, teaching and coaching in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina. His most recent experience included nearly 15 years as a social studies teacher, department chair, and basketball and football coach at Northeastern High School in Pasquotank County, retiring in 2020. Thornton was named Teacher of the Year in 1998 while working at John A. Holmes High School in Edenton, North Carolina.  Thornton joins the Board to replace Marion Harris who completed his term in June. Harris served on the Board from 2007 to 2023.

Patti Kersey was reappointed to a new four-year term by the Chowan County Board of Commissioners.  Her initial appointment to the Board began on July 1, 2017. Kersey served for 22 years in the United States Air Force, retiring as Lt. Colonel. Prior to moving to Chowan County with her husband in 2002, she was a Senior Policy Analyst for Science Applications International, a Washington DC Defense Contractor. Kersey served as the COA Board of Trustees Chair from 2020-2022.

Travis Gilliard was reappointed to a new four-year term by the Chowan County Board of Commissioners. His initial appointment to the Board began on July 1, 2019. Gilliard is a pharmacist at both CVS Pharmacy in Edenton and Martin General Hospital. He previously taught Pharmacy Technician classes for COA and Martin Community College.

“We extend our welcome to our new trustees and our heartfelt gratitude to all members of the Board of Trustees for their steadfast commitment and dedication to College of The Albemarle,” said Dr. Jack Bagwell, COA President. “The diverse backgrounds, experiences, and insights of our Board of Trustees are invaluable as we work together to uphold the college’s mission, strategically moving forward in our efforts to serve our community and meet the needs of our service area.”