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Pinson praised for stability
County native exits board after 4 years
WEB Pinson 1
Superintendent Buster Evans, right, presents a statue to outgoing school board member Ronnie Pinson.
Officials were quick to praise outgoing Forsyth County school board member Ronnie Pinson for helping shape the future of the local school district.

Pinson, who is leaving the Board of Education this month, served one four-year term in District 4. It was a period of rapid growth for the school system.

“The experience and the wisdom that Ronnie Pinson has shared with all of us in this community has provided a sense of stability to what our work has been about,” said Forsyth County Schools Superintendent Buster Evans.

Evans, speaking at a board meeting earlier this month, said Pinson “has built and left a legacy because of his contributions to the Forsyth County Schools.”

Pinson helped develop four school district budgets, worked through redistricting, approved new schools and guarded against wasteful spending.

But the vote with the greatest impact, Pinson said, was choosing Evans to replace longtime superintendent Paula Gault.

“Hiring a superintendent was the most important thing we’ve done,” Pinson said. “The superintendent is the one that basically sets the course for the district.”

A Forsyth County native, Pinson has been in the poultry industry for more than three decades. Choosing not to run for re-election was a difficult decision, he said, but one driven by time constraints and his work with Mar-Jac Poultry.

“I just don’t have the time that this position deserves, requires and demands,” he said. “I just have career demands that don’t give me the time.”

Pinson will be succeeded by Darla Sexton Light.

Pinson, his 29-year-old son Russell and his 25-year-old son Brandon are all products of the local school system. His wife, Donna, sister and mother have each served as educators in the county.

Since Pinson was a student, technology and growth have been the most substantial changes.

“I would say that we have a much more consistent district from one school to another, as far as quality of education,” he said. “Change is always difficult for everyone, but change is a part of being in Forsyth County.”

While the county has seen many changes with its growth, fellow board member Ann Crow said Pinson has been a symbol of consistency.

“Ronnie was just a very stable member of the board,” Crow said. “He always had a lot of good common-sense ways of looking at things. He was intuitive in his knowledge of the community and what would best suit them.

“I’m just really going to miss him being on the board.”

Pinson said he will miss the other board members and getting to know the staff. He won’t, however, miss redistricting. He added that it’s a difficult time to leave the board, as 2009 won’t be easy.

“Next year’s going to be very difficult for the board, just because of the budget situation at the state and the cutbacks they’ve made and continue to make,” he said. “There are a lot of challenges, but I think we’ve got a board that’s very capable of handling it.

“Forsyth County is very fortunate to have the leadership they have on the board and in the superintendent.”

E-mail Jennifer Sami at