Flint, MI— Wednesday’s virtual meeting was the last for three long-serving Flint Schools Board of Education members: President Casey Lester, Secretary Betty Ramsdell and Trustee Blake Stroizer. 

Superintendent Anita Steward gifted each with bell engraved with their years of service as well as basket full of their “favorite things.” 

Casey Lester has served on the board for two years and became president in 2020. Near the end of Wednesday’s meeting he took a few moments to thank his fellow board members.

“Carol, I don’t think that there’s anybody else who is as truthful as a person as you are and, goodness girl, I appreciate you. I never ever questioned where you stood on any issue. And I just absolutely respect the hell out of that,” Lester said to Trustee Carol McIntosh.

Blake Strozier, who has served for 9 years, offered his final sentiments as well. 

“I’m reminded of a quote that board member Perry told me at my first briefing: make decisions that you can sleep with at night. While some of the votes that we’ve made were not popular, they were votes that I felt were best for our community… While we are a board of seven, we speak as a voice of one. But one thing for certain is we all have served a purpose and trying to make lives of students in Flint better by our actions,” he said. 

He concluded his allocution with the words “Strozier out!” and shut off his video. 

Betty Ramsdell joined the board in 2009 after 44 years of teaching. 

“I hope I have been a contributor. I really feel that every member of the board that I’ve served with really has students’ best interests at heart and the school district’s. Sometimes we were right, sometimes we were wrong. But bottom line is our main focus was the students and trying to give them a life,” Ramsdell said.

Joyce Ellis-McNeal, Anita M. Moore and Laura Gillespie MacIntyre will step up in their place beginning Jan. 1, 2021. An orientation was held Dec. 16. 

Moore was “unable to participate in the new board member orientation,” Steward said. 

Board members will elect a new president during the board’s annual organization meeting on Jan. 13, 2020.  

Lester adjourned the meeting for his final time. “Flint now and Flint forever,” he said.    

Carmen Nesbitt

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...

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