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Ball is nurse, board member

By By LYDIA GRIMES Features Reporter
January has been designated as School Board Member Recognition Month, recognizing the contributions made by Alabama's more than 800 local school board members.
One of those members is the subject of this week's profile. Ola Ball is perhaps best known for the care she gives to her patients at D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital, but she is also a volunteer school board member with the Brewton City School System. Although some school boards are made up of elected officials, the members of the city system are appointed. Throughout the state more than 732,000 students in more than 1,500 schools depend on these volunteers to oversee the multimillion-dollar budgets which fund education programs.
There are four other members of the City of Brewton School Board. They are Stephanie Walker, Dr. Keith Miller, Lillie Dove and Terrell Neal. They are charged with the responsibility of overseeing the funding in the Brewton City School System.
Ball was asked by a member of the city council if she would be willing to serve on the school board. She accepted the challenge and is proud to be part of the group that determines policy for the school system.
Ball was born and grew up in Castleberry with a family of five brothers. She attended school there through the ninth grade and then attended Conecuh County Training School in Evergreen which is known today as Marshall Middle School. She married a local boy from Castleberry and came to Brewton and attended Booker T. Washington. She dropped out of school but later got her GED. She had two daughters, Sherian and Tracy and got a job doing domestic work to supplement the income.
In 1966 she applied for a job in housekeeping at D.W. McMillan Memorial Hospital. She got the job and worked at it for about five months. At this time the new nursing home was getting ready to open and the administrator there, Joanna Reed, was teaching a nursing aid class.
She worked in that position for a number of years and applied to the LPN program at Ed Reid Technical College in Evergreen. She graduated from there in 1971 and came back to D.W. McMillan Memorial as an LPN. Several years later a job opportunity became available in the operating room and with a little persuasion, she took the position.
Twenty years after graduating from LPN school, she went back to school at Jefferson Davis Community College and earned an associate's degree, becoming a registered nurse.
She works today in the operating room both as a sterile and non-sterile nurse. She also trains others who come into the department.
Ball not only works with the school board. She is an active member of the Alabama Democratic Committee. She has been a driving force behind the renovation of her old school building in Castleberry to become a community center.
She is also very active in her church, Second Marietta Church in Castleberry, helping with the choir and Sunday School. She serves on the trustee board of the Evergreen District Baptist Association.
When she is not working on one of her various projects, Ball loves to travel, eat out and attend plays, such as the ones at the Shakespeare Theatre in Montgomery.