Whitehall News

Whitehall board seeks two new members

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

With two seats now vacant on the Whitehall Board of Education, the district is looking for two candidates to fill them.

Board member Brandon Howard and his mother, vice president Ronda Howard, resigned from their positions Feb. 28, effective immediately.

The abrupt move has left the remaining three board members scrambling.

Registered voters in Whitehall who are interested in applying for the positions should submit a resume and letter of intent to Whitehall City Schools Treasurer Steve McAfee at the district;s offices, 625 S. Yearling Road, by 4 p.m. Thursday, March 12.

According to board president Walter Armes, board members will review all resumes and, based on previous situations, likely will interview the top three to five candidates.

Candidates selected for the interview process will go before the board in a closed-door session in March. The three remaining board members will discuss the candidates before taking an official vote by the end of the month.

According to Armes, state law mandates that a school board cannot make an appointment within 10 days of a vacancy but must approve an appointment within 30 days.

If the board cannot come to agreement in that time period, the decision goes to probate court and a judge must make the decision, Armes said.

A similar situation existed three years ago.

In September 2010, Whitehall board members could not agree on a candidate to fill a seat left vacant by former board member Carolyn McIntosh, so the decision was put into the hands of Judge Alan S. Acker, a Franklin County probate judge who made the final appointment of Darryl Hammock.

Hammock served in that position from October 2010 until December 2011. His name did not appear on the ballot in 2011 for the two-year unexpired term after his filing was found invalid because of an insufficient number of legitimate signatures.

Howard ran unopposed in 2011 for the remaining two years of McIntosh's term, serving a little more than a year before resigning. His seat will be up for election again in November. Anyone appointed for the remainder of his term in March will have to run for the seat in November's election to retain it for the next four years.

Ronda Howard was re-elected to her seat in 2011. Five candidates ran for two open seats. Ronda Howard was the top vote-getter, receiving 30 percent of the votes. Board member Mike Adkins was second with 23 percent.

Ronda Howard's seat won't be up for election until November 2015. Because more than half of her term remains, anyone appointed by the board this month likely would have to run for the remaining unexpired term (two years) in November's election.

Both Armes and board member Blythe Wood also will be up for re-election in November.

During a special meeting March 3, board members were expected to officially accept the Howards' resignations, map out the next steps in the process to fill the seats and discuss its effects on the district's current superintendent search. The board also was expected to name a new vice president.

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