Nearly two months have passed since Mary Warnell was sworn in as the newest leader of the city of Pembroke, and as her mayoral seat continues to warm, she is enjoying every part of her new job description.
Though she has mainly been “observing and evaluating” the daily activities of city staff and operations, she said she has learned a lot and looks forward to learning more.
“Working with the people here in Pembroke has been exciting, with the staff here,” Warnell said. “I’ve enjoyed this and I’ve learned a lot in a short amount of time. I hope they see I’m interested in what they’re doing and in their work.”
Having a vested interest in the city and its operations is something that comes easy for Warnell. Having grown up in the area, she is clearly passionate about Pembroke.
After moving into the city from Groveland at age 10 with her family, Warnell said she became active in 4-H activities, and went on to excel with her 4-H project in forestry.
“I did win in district and in state in the forestry project and I was the first Master 4-H’er for Bryan County by winning state,” she said. “My demonstration was on prescribed burning and I can tell you the title of my demonstration was ‘To burn or not to burn.’”
In addition to her 4-H activities, Warnell was a part of the varsity basketball team, one act play and literary program at Bryan County High School. She also served as the editor of the BCHS yearbook her senior year.
Warnell said she was also very involved in church growing up, participating in the Girls Auxiliary group. She is still active today in her church as a co-teacher of first and second grade children at First Baptist Church of Pembroke.
After high school, Warnell went on to study home economics at then Georgia College, now Georgia College and State University. Upon completion of her degree, she went to work with the Dairy Council Incorporated. During her time there, she worked with school systems, health professionals and consumer groups to develop nutrition education programs, she said.
Her background in the dairy industry and working with school systems helped her in her first position in government as a member of the Bryan County Board of Education. Warnell served on the school board for two terms.
Read more in the Feb. 29 edition of the News.