Whitehall News

Board likely to appoint new members March 28

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The Whitehall Board of Education on March 28 is expected to hold a special session to appoint two new members.

The two seats are vacant following the abrupt resignation of Brandon Howard and his mother, Ronda Howard, last month.

An unprecedented number of residents applied for the seats: 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.

The board met this past weekend in executive session to discuss the applicants. The three must agree on the two appointees by March 28 or the decision will land in the hands of a Franklin County probate judge.

It's believed the three remaining board members, president Walter Armes, vice president Blythe Wood and Mike Adkins, will make the appointments March 28. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the district's administrative offices, 625 S. Yearling Road.

The Howards resigned in February.

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 on his part 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. Whomever the board appoints will 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, however, the appointee will have to run in November also.

Armes' and Wood's seats also will be up for election in November, meaning four out of the board's five seats will be open during the November election.

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