Four residents vied for incumbent Glenn T. Millican Jr.’s seat on the Hanover School Board. But, only one could be appointed.
To come to the decision, W. Canova Peterson, Mechanicsville District supervisor, said he sat down with the candidates over the past few weeks to get to know them and comprehend their “visions” for the school system.
“I’m trying to figure out who would bring the best energy to the effort,” Peterson said, adding he wanted to “pass the baton to a new representative.”
With that in mind, Roger Bourassa, 51, was unanimously appointed by the board of supervisors June 11 to fill his district’s seat on the school board.
“This will be great and we can focus on what we can do best for our children in the school system,” Bourassa said.
Bourassa, a network support analyst for the Department of Judicial Information and Technology, said he is excited to begin his new position on the school board. In the past, he has attended school board, planning commission and board of supervisors’ meetings. From 2003 to 2011, Bourassa served on the county’s economic development authority.
“This is just another step for me to take and get more involved in the county,” Bourassa said.
One of the issues Bourassa would like to address is expanding the offerings for dual enrollment and honors courses. He also hopes to encourage student involvement at the trades and technology center. Bourassa said he attended automotive school and went on to college afterwards to receive an associate’s degree in computer science.
“I want to make sure that our kids have every opportunity to not only do the tech side but also advance up to the college side, if they’d like,” he said.
There were four candidates total who wanted the position on the board, including Robert Barnette Jr. and Tricia Rudolph in addition to Bourassa and Millican. Peterson said he was ecstatic about the high level of citizen involvement.
“I’ve spent the last two years or so encouraging citizens to step up and serve the county,” Peterson said.
Peterson also thanked Millican for all his hard work and service on the board the past 24 years.
Chickahominy District Supervisor Angela Kelly-Wiecek said that it’s vital to express gratitude to the outgoing official each time there is a change in positions.
“I greatly appreciate all of your time, hard work and effort and thank you,” she told Millican.
Kelly-Wiecek said she enjoyed every time she worked with Millican.
“I’ve never spent time with Glenn when I didn’t learn something about the school or a new idea or something,” she said.
Vice Chairman Wayne T. Hazzard echoed a similar sentiment. Hazzard said there is no doubt that the supervisors appreciate all of Millican’s service to the county and the school division.
“It’s a tough decision to have to make but any citizen willing to serve, we can’t say enough because it’s a thankless job in some cases,” he said. “We really appreciate what you’ve done.”
In an interview Thursday, Millican said not getting reappointed to the school board came as a complete surprise to him.
“I was completely blindsided,” he said.
He said he understands the process and has no animosity about the appointment itself but is incredibly disappointed that Peterson did not give him a heads-up beforehand.
“That’s politeness. That’s courtesy and that’s manners,” Millican said.
During the interview process before a candidate was chosen, Millican said that his supervisor expressed a lack of support for the initiatives he presented during the public hearing last month.
“He made the comment that I didn’t have anything else to offer after my 24 years of service,” Millican said.
Although Millican did not get reappointed, this will not be the end of his service to the county. He said he plans to become more politically active.
“I’m not going to give up being involved in this county,” Millican said.