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Board of Education

The Huntsville City Schools are under the direction of a five-person elected Board of Education, with its powers and duties set by Alabama law. Members of the board are elected to serve four-year terms and each represents a geographic area in the city. Board members appoint the Superintendent, unlike other cities in which the Superintendent runs for elected office. The board meets twice a month.

2016 Board of Education


Elisa Ferrell

District 3

President - A mother of five, Ferrell is a former insurance specialist and currently works in adult education at Willowbrook Baptist Church.  She served as President of the Huntsville Council of PTAs from 2012-2014.  She received the National Legislative Advocacy award by National PTA. She was President of the Grissom High PTSA, the Grissom Building Programming Committee and the Huntsville City Schools Policy Committee.  She also volunteered at Mountain Gap Elementary and Farley Elementary. Ferrell is a graduate of Scripps College.

Walker McGinnis

District 4

Vice President - An educator for 36 years, McGinnis is currently a local realtor. He served as assistant principal at Grissom High and Whitesburg Middle schools and was principal at Chapman Middle from 2001-2006. He served for 7 years as a speaker on special education and Section 504 issues nationally. He also spent 20 years as a signal corps officer in the Alabama National Guard and U.S. Army Reserves. McGinnis earned a BA from Rhodes College and a master’s from Alabama A&M. He and wife Jeaneen have two grown children.

Beth Wilder

District 2

Third Presiding OfficerAs the mother of an elementary-aged daughter in Huntsville City Schools, Wilder became deeply involved in volunteering at her child’s school with the PTA, as a Pre-K Spanish teacher, student mentor, and as Destination Imagination Team Manager. She also served as a substitute teacher and became an advocate for educational initiatives, both locally and at the state level. She is a Leadership Huntsville/Madison County graduate, L-29 & F-30.  She earned her Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Science from the University of Florida, and was a project manager with the St. Johns River Water Management District.

Michelle WatkinsMichelle Watkins

District 1

Michelle Watkins is a lifelong resident of Huntsville, Alabama. Upon graduating from James Oliver Johnson High School of the Huntsville City School System, she furthered her education at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University by completing a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Masters of Secondary Education, and an Education Specialist Degree.

She is also a graduate of Leadership Huntsville Focus Class 27 and a Certified Oracle Instructor. Michelle has taught at Johnson High School and J. F. Drake State Technical College and has been actively involved in various community organizations and activities in the Huntsville City and Madison County area. She presided as PTSA President for Johnson High School during its last school year, and has worked with the Junior League of Huntsville, the United Way of Madison County, the City of Huntsville Community Development Citizens Advisory Council, and the Alabama A&M University Youth Motivational Task Force. Currently, Michelle is a Management & Program Analyst for the United States Army Garrison at Redstone Arsenal

Pam HillPam Hill

District 5

Pam Hill began her educational journey in Huntsville City Schools in 1966 at Highlands Elementary School. She graduated from S.R. Butler High School in 1979. Both her children attended HCS, and graduated from Grissom High School. One of her grandchildren presently attends Blossomwood Elementary. Pam is married to Philip Hill, and together they have four children, four grandchildren, and another one on the way.

Pam has five educational degrees: a Bachelor's in Elementary Education, a Master's in Elementary Education, a Master's in Social Sciences Grades 4-8, a Master's in Educational Administration, and an Ed.S. in Teacher Leadership. Pam felt the need to leave teaching after 19 years to pursue a position on the HCS BOE. She still believes those inside the schools have the most important jobs, but she sees her elected school board position as a way to guide and protect students from a teacher's perspective.

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