Horry County School Board honors Joe DeFeo in first meeting since his death

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – The Horry County School Board began a new era Monday night - the post-Joe DeFeo era.

It was the first meeting since 2006 where DeFeo was not a member of the board. The former Horry County School Board chairman passed away May 3 after suffering a cardiac event.

DeFeo's empty chair was draped with a banner and flowers to honor his life. Board members also shared thoughts and memories of their late leader.

"We've lost a true leader," District 6's Pam Timms said. "It's going to be hard to replace him. I miss him already. We all do."

District 10's Neil James has assumed the role of interim chair, as he held the title of vice chairman before. James will lead the board until November, when an election for permanent chairman will take place.

James said he has no intention to run for the permanent position.

"I have a full-time job that's very rewarding, but also demanding," James said. "I personally feel like I would not be able to live up to my expectations."

James is also the chairman of the facilities committee. He says he doesn't think someone should serve as both the board chairman and the chair of the facilities committee, so the committee will decide what to do during its next meeting on Monday, May 21.

The board also held an election to decide who would take on the role of vice chairman. District 4's David Cox won that election.

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