Amanda Riedel selected as school board’s leader

OKEECHOBEE — At their Nov. 12 meeting, the Okeechobee County School Board reorganized, electing a new chairman and vice chairman.

Special to the Lake Okeechobee News/Okeechobee County Schools
Amanda Riedel was appointed as the Okeechobee County School Board’s new chairwoman at the Nov. 12 meeting.

Amanda Riedel was nominated as chairman by Joe Arnold with a second from Jill Holcomb. Melisa Jahner was nominated as vice chairman, also by Mr. Arnold, with a second from Malissa Morgan.

All board members voted in favor of the new appointments.

Mrs. Riedel takes over the chairwoman position from Mrs. Holcomb. Previously, Mrs. Riedel held the position of vice chairwoman.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Girl Scout Troop 60938 was responsible for the presentation of colors and leading the Pledge of Allegiance at the Nov. 12 Okeechobee County School Board meeting.

“I would like to thank Mrs. Holcomb for her service,” said Mr. Arnold. “It has been amazing watching her grow over time.”

The school board also voted to keep the monthly board meeting on the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.

Other appointments during the Nov. 12 meeting included keeping Mrs. Holcomb on as the appointee for Florida School Board Insurance Trust. Mrs. Reidel was kept on as an appointee to the Children’s Services Council Board of Directors and as an appointee to the Small School District Council Consortium. Mrs. Jahner was appointed to serve on the Economic Council of Okeechobee. Mr. Arnold served in that position last year.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Penny Taylor of the Florida Department of Education and members of the Okeechobee County School Board pose with the new flag awarded for achieving a gold level Florida Healthy School District.

Penny Taylor from the Florida Department of Education was in attendance at the meeting to recognize the Okeechobee County School District for achieving a gold Florida Healthy School District Award.

The award recognizes individual school districts that have met self-assessment tool requirements based on sustainable infrastructure, policy, programs and practices, such as crisis intervention, suicide prevention and trauma-informed care faculty trainings, identified from national and state guidelines, best practices and Florida statutes.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
South Elementary’s Suzette Murphy and Kimberly Collins were recognized by the Okeechobee County School Board for their work to win one of five 2019 Florida Literacy Association (FLA) Early Learning Literacy Grants.

South Elementary’s Suzette Murphy and Kimberly Collins were recognized by the school board for their work to win the 2019 Florida Literacy Association (FLA) Early Learning Literacy Grant.

Five early learning centers in the state of Florida were chosen to receive a collection of literature that has been reviewed by the FLA board.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Mary Dye was recognized by the Okeechobee County School Board after retiring following her 17 years of service at Seminole Elementary.

The school board honored district employee Mary Dye, who is retiring this year after 17 years in the school district.

Mrs. Dye was a custodian at Seminole Elementary. She first joined the school district in 2003 and spent all of her 17 years at Seminole.

“I just want to thank everybody for this,” said Mrs. Dye. “I’ve enjoyed it. I’ll be glad to be with my great-grandkids. Thank you.”

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at

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