School districts across the state are observing January as School Board Appreciation Month.

As districts take the time to honor their leaders, the Copperas Cove Herald would like to share information about members of the Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees. New board members will be featured each week until the end of January. This information was compiled by our staff and the district.

Mike Wilburn, Place 3

Mike Wilburn was elected to the school board in 2007.

He graduated from Southwest Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and began his teaching career with the district as an elementary physical education teacher.

After seven years of teaching and coaching, he became vice principal of J.L. Williams Junior High School.

He also served as principal of Fairview Elementary School for three years before leaving the district to become an education instruction specialist for IBM in Atlanta.

Wilburn returned to Copperas Cove in 1986 and was rehired as principal of Fairview Elementary. He went on to serve as principal of J.L. Williams Elementary School and Copperas Cove High School.

He finished his career by serving as executive director of secondary education and technology until retiring from Cove ISD in July 2006.

Wilburn has served as a member of a number of community organizations, including the Association of the United States Army, Copperas Cove Lions Club, City Traffic Safety Commission, Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce, Copperas Cove Quarterback Club and the Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful Commission. He currently serves on the board of directors for Communities Helping Americans Mature, Progress and Succeed and the Jack Welch Foundation. He is the chairman of deacons for First Baptist Church of Copperas Cove.


Why are you serving on the school board?

I am serving on the school board to serve the students of our district and the community in which we live.

I want to make a difference in the future, and that future is in the lives of our students.

Why is education important to you?

I have dedicated my life to education. I believe education is the only real thing that can change the world for the better.

What has been your favorite moment while serving on the school board?

My favorite moment has been bringing our current superintendent, Joe Burns, into our district.

Joan Manning, president, Place 4

Joan Manning was elected to the school board in 1995 and is currently serving as its president.

Her father retired from the military and settled in Copperas Cove, leading her to meet and marry her high school sweetheart, Jay Manning. After attending college together at Baylor University, the couple returned to Copperas Cove to be closer to family. Manning and her husband own a family building business in the city: Manning Homes.

She stays busy being a mom and a grandmother to five, working in the building business, serving on several local boards and being an active member of Eastside Baptist Church.


Why are you serving on the school board?

I am serving on the Copperas Cove school board, because I love Copperas Cove and I believe in public education.

My husband, myself and our children all graduated from Copperas Cove and we received a quality education. I have a deep respect for our employees, students, and other board members and wanted to be a part of the district’s ongoing success.

Being on the board is a wonderful way to be connected to our community, especially our students.

Why is education important to you?

Education is the basis for everything we know and do.

It is especially important for children and young people to have a good, positive experience in school. It impacts the rest of their lives.

My biggest hope is for all of our students to receive love, care, respect and learning in our schools, so they will be productive and happy citizens that contribute to our country in beneficial ways.

What has been your favorite moment while serving on the school board?

I have many favorite moments so it is impossible to choose just one. My favorite times are always with our students.

I really love watching them perform, reading to them, or observing them in a classroom or at a sporting event.

Students are the reason I continue to serve happily on the Copperas Cove school board.

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