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Makers of contemporary black history: Part 4 — Maurice Hill

The following is the last of a four-part series on local African-Americans who are making positive contributions to their community.

Delving into history books and other sources reveals the extraordinary achievements of black Americans.

Research discovers that Madame C.J. Walker created hair products especially designed to enhance the hair of black women. Harriet Tubman was conductor of the Underground Railroad and led more than 100 slaves to freedom. Thurgood Marshall was the first black Supreme Court justice. Dr. Mary McCleod Bethune, the founder of the school that today is known as Bethune-Cookman University, became an important leader in higher education in Florida.

We relish and are proud of their achievements and the impact they have had on the American people.

The development of events and opportunities that impact a society begins when individuals commence their journey through life  touching the lives of people in their society. In Bulloch County, there are several individuals in the community who have begun to have their impact on society. They are not only significant achievers because of their “firstness,” but because of the importance of their contribu tions.

First elected to the Bulloch County Board of Education, Maurice Hill was selected by fellow board members to serve as vice chairman in 2010. In 2011, having confidence in his proven leadership and years of experience, he was elected by fellow board members as chairman. With this appointment, Hill became the first black citizen to serve in this capacity.

The position of chairman affords Hill the opportunity to give increased input pertaining to facilities improvement and expansion, curriculum matters, budgets for the various departments and recommendations into policy development and imple-mentation. By attending state, national and regional school board conferences, he keeps himself up to date on issues and  developments that influence education in our school system.

A product of the Bulloch County school system, Maurice is a 1997 graduate of Statesboro High School. His formal education in mortuary science qualifies him as a licensed funeral director. He is proprietor of Hill’s Mortuary in Statesboro. In addition to his expertise as a businessman, Hill is an active member of United Fellowship Worship Center. He is also a licensed and ordained  minister.

Not only is he an active board member, he is a vibrant part of the community, where he seeks to improve conditions through his volunteer service. Through his membership, affiliation and volunteer service with numerous community organizations, he is a recipient of the Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award from the Statesboro Herald.

Conversations with Hill reflect his perspective on the education of our students. As a parent, he feels that all children can learn. He insists that teachers should aim for higher achievement and expectations for all students. Administrators must demand excellent  instruction from teachers. He notes that accountability is not just the purview of the teacher. When discussing education, he insists that the superintendent must provide extraordinary and effective leadership for the entire system and every employee. As chairman of the board, Hill realizes the importance of effective and constant collaboration between the board, the central office staff and all  stakeholders.

Maurice Hill is proving himself to be a commendable educator and leader for all students in our school system. With his leadership,  the school system can make significant strides in providing quality academic experiences for all students.

Dr. Charles W. Bonds is a former Bulloch County school board member and retired Georgia Southern University professor.

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