HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — As the board of trustees at Alabama A&M University cycles through changes in membership, one new member said keeping students foremost in mind is critical.

Richard Reynolds, director of Huntsville Achievement School, has been confirmed by the state Senate to replace Tom Bell, who resigned earlier this year. Bell was one of two trustees on the board representing the 5th Congressional District, which includes Huntsville.

“The ultimate goal (for trustees) is not just about administration,” Reynolds said. “The ultimate goal and mission of Alabama A&M should be helping every student find their potential and reach their dreams.

“Therefore, that’s what my goal would be as a trustee – to create an atmosphere for success at Alabama A&M for every student.”

Two other trustees have been confirmed by the Senate during this legislative session. Velma Tribue of Dothan was appointed to the board by former Gov. Bob Riley in 2003 and will begin serving her second full term.

John Hudson III of Birmingham, who has an undergraduate degree from A&M, has been confirmed to fill the vacancy created by the resignation last year of Raymond Burse. Hudson is vice president for public relations at Alabama Power.

The status of trustee Lucien Blankenship of Birmingham appears to be in doubt. While he was one of three nominees for an at-large seat, Blankenship’s name was not selected to be sent to the Senate for confirmation. Bernice Richardson of Huntsville, a retired Alabama A&M professor, was Gov. Robert Bentley’s choice.

However, Richardson’s name was introduced to the Senate on Feb. 28, and no action has been taken.

In the 3rd Congressional District, incumbent James Montgomery of Anniston was not nominated for a second term, and no candidate to replace him has been introduced before the Senate for confirmation.

Blankenship and Montgomery will continue to serve until replacements are confirmed.

Reynolds earned a master’s degree from Alabama A&M and said his work at Huntsville Achievement School gives him a unique perspective as a trustee. Huntsville Achievement School is a private school that works with students with dyslexia, high-functioning autism, Asperger’s, ADD, ADHD and at-risk students.

The school has about 25 students, Reynolds said.

“A lot of these students, with just a little help, can be great success stories,” he said.

He also said Alabama A&M has a bright future. Read Full