Coweta School Board to fill vacant post created by Parker resignationBy REBECCA LEFTWICH
With the Coweta County School System’s budget in place for next year and the Class of 2012 officially graduated, the Coweta County Board of Education is turning its attention to the appointment of a board member to fill the vacancy created by April Parker’s resignation in May.
Board Chairman Sue Brown said she and Vice-Chair Winston Dowdell plan to meet with Superintendent of Schools Steve Barker “in the next couple of weeks” to establish a procedure and criteria for the selection.
According to the Coweta County Board of Education charter, the appointment of a replacement to fill a vacancy – whether caused by a board member’s death, resignation, move of residency from the education district he or she represents or any other reason – is the responsibility of the board.
Dowdell was appointed after the death of District 5 representative Mitch Powell in 2006 and ran unopposed in 2008 for his current seat.
Board member Graylin Ward also was originally an appointee, taking over the District 4 seat when sitting member Brian Roy and his family relocated to Hiawassee in 2008. Ward ran unopposed in 2010 for his current term.
The only specifics in the school board’s policy for fulfilling an unexpired term is that anyone appointed to the vacancy must meet residency requirements and “posses the qualifications provided by state law to hold office as member of the Board.”
“We’ve been through it twice, but there’s not a regulation or anything, it just says we will choose,” Brown said. “I wanted to make sure we had a step-by-step plan and we want to establish a criteria for choosing a replacement.”
Parker, who defeated longtime board member Mike Sumner in November 2010 to become the board’s District 1 at-large representative, cited personal and family reasons for her resignation.
She took office in January 2011 and stepped down with two and a half years remaining in her term.
Board policy does not set a timeline for appointment of a new member.
“We’re not going to wait six months,” Brown said. “But we do want to make sure that we choose the person that is best for the students and for the school system.”