Darla Sexton Light, Republican
Family: husband, David; three children
Occupation: owner of Browns Bridge Boat & Mini Storage
Church: Oak Grove Baptist Church
Education: attended University of Georgia
Affiliations: member of the North Forsyth 400 Rotary Club; sat on the 2400 Challenge steering committee and the School Completion Team committee
Qualifications: served on the Parent Teacher Student Organization at Coal Mountain Elementary School and North Forsyth Middle School; worked as an eighth-grade boys basketball lay coach at North Forsyth Middle School.
Why she's running: "I qualified because I would like to be able to give back to the community some of what it's given me and there are some changes that I have in mind that would have a positive impact on our education system."
In her own words: "I will be a voice for the people and the teachers and I will try to do the best possible thing for the students, which should be our main concern."
Web site: www.light08.com
Darla Sexton Light has begun making plans for January, when she assumes the District 4 seat on the Forsyth County Board of Education.
After defeating Democrat Sheila Elliott by more than 58 percent of the vote Tuesday, Light said she will brush up on some of the key issues facing board members, specifically the budget.
"Before I take office, I'd really like to start looking at the budget, so when I take office in January, I'll be ready to hit the ground running," she said.
In total, Light received 54,423 votes, or 78 percent, to Elliott's 15,039 votes, or 22 percent, to claim the seat being vacated by incumbent Ronnie Pinson, who chose not to run again.
Light said she is looking forward to examining school start times and ways to streamline the budget and increase the amount of money spent directly in the classroom.
Though school board seats are assigned districts, board members are elected countywide. Light's support was stronger in her home district, where she garnered nearly 80 percent of the six precincts.
She had emerged from the July 15 Republican primary, when she bested Fletcher McCone with 66 percent of the vote.
The summer election also saw incumbent board members Nancy Roche and Tom Cleveland win re-election as neither faced a Democrat in November.
"I am excited and I'm also humbled," Light said Tuesday. "It's humbling to know that so many people have placed their confidence in you.
"All I can say to them is that I promise that I'll do the very best job I can."
Elliott said she wasn't surprised with the results, just disappointed.
"It is what it is," she said. "You just hope with a new face on the board ... that she really has the best interest of the community - the parents, teachers and kids - at heart."
Reflecting on her campaign, Elliott said she might have pumped up her appeal for support.
"I probably would have campaigned a little bit more, if the economy was different," she said.
For Light, it was the campaigning at homeowners association meetings, ball games and elsewhere that made the run for office so enjoyable.
"I've gotten to get out and meet a lot of people that I otherwise would have never known," she said. "Now I'm looking forward to working with the other board members. I think we'll all get along great."