Whitehall News

17 apply for Whitehall's two vacated school board seats

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Seventeen Whitehall residents have thrown their hat into the ring for two vacated seats on the Whitehall Board of Education.

The seats became vacant immediately after Brandon Howard and his mother, Ronda, resigned Feb. 28.

Board president Walter Armes on March 14 announced that the selection of the two new board members would be after a new superintendent is chosen.

Resumes were due to the district March 12.

A few familiar names appear on the list, along with at least one former board member. Those applying for the two seats are Kenneth Abshire, Alison Adams, Mike Barcus, Joy Bivens, Jerry Brooks, Misty Brown, Mark Butler, Theresa Farler, Darryl Hammock, Clint Hikes, Paul Jordan, Magdalene Riley, Mark Sean Riley, Lorna Russell, Lee Stahley, Kelly Young and Kristin Young.

Candidates selected for the interview process will go before the board in executive sessions later this month. 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.

That date falls on Good Friday, March 29.

If the board can't come to an agreement in that time, the decision becomes the responsibility of a probate judge.

The Howards resigned from their positions Feb. 28. In his letter to the board, Brandon Howard did not mention any specific reason for stepping down but alluded to a recent controversy over a weapons charge stemming from a summertime incident.

"I feel that it is in the best interest for me to resign for the well-being of my family," he said in the letter.

It's believed social media played a part in his decision.

Brandon Howard served on the board for nearly a year-and-a-half. The seat became available in 2010, when former board member Carolyn McIntosh stepped down for personal reasons. Hammock was appointed to the seat but had to run for the remaining two years of the unexpired term to continue in the position. Because of a clerical error in filing with the Franklin County Board of Elections, Hammock could not run for the remaining two years of the term. Howard stepped in and ran unopposed for the position in 2011.

His seat is up for grabs again in November. Anyone appointed to the position would serve for only nine months and would have to run again in November to retain the seat for another four years.

Howard's mother, Ronda, has been a school board member since 2004. Her seat (a four-year term) is up for grabs in 2015. Because more than two years remain in the term, anyone serving in that seat would have to run in November also.

Armes' and Blythe Wood's seats also will be up for grabs in November, meaning four seats will be open during the November election. Board member Michael Adkins' seat doesn't expire this year.

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