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Life can be like a novel with chapters: the beginning, the middle and the end. In a sense, when a chapter in life ends, a new one begins. For two former Grant County Board members Billie Cahill and Diane Reed, a new chapter begins after finishing a combined 18 years on the board.
Cahill had been on the Grant County Board of Education for 14 years and knew that the time was right to step down.
“Fourteen years is a long time,” she said. “If I had done four more years, it would be 18 years. At that point my daughter Olivia would be out of school and my son Preston is going to college this fall, so I want to be able to go visit him and just be a mom.”
A lot of changes have come to the Grant County district during Cahill’s tenure on the board, including new buildings like Grant County High School, Sherman Elementary, the new board office and many renovations to the other buildings in the district.
Along with Cahill’s departure, Reed is leaving the board after serving for four years and one year as board chairperson.
Reed knew it was time to move on as well, but knows that she will carry on the experience she gained while on the board.
“It was a joy being on the board,” she said. “My experience was pleasant and I will cherish that time.”
With the development of the Grant County Career and Technical Center, Reed sees a bright future for the students of Grant County.
“I feel Grant County is on a roll to success and is on the right track,” she said. “I wanted to make sure it was a success and I know it is going to be a success.”
Reed said children were the main reason she served on the board in the first place.
“I want see the kids succeed and I feel that everyone of them can succeed in this district.”
Both Reed and Cahill were complimentary with the staff and their time working with them.
“Diane and I have become good friends and all of the board members became good friends,” Cahill said. “I think that is what makes a successful board is that you respect each others values and viewpoints, which was something we were able to do very well together.”
Current Grant County Board Chairperson Richard Bredenberg will miss Reed and Cahill at the board meetings.
“Their advice and leadership helped make my own efforts to serve much easier,” he said. “They were knowledgeable, caring, and dedicated in their service. They each, in their own way, helped a new colleague understand the needs of the office and the goals and culture of our district.”
As the new board convened on Jan. 13 and Carol Horn and Charlotte Schmidt were sworn in, it began that new chapter for the Grant County School District.