For the second time in the last 17 months, the Clark County Board of Education faces the task of filling a seat because of a mid-term resignation by one of its members.
Diane McKinney, who was elected in November 2010 to fill the District 5 board seat left vacant after the resignation of Wendy Berryman in March 2010, tendered her resignation from the board Wednesday, citing a family conflict as the reason.
Board chairwoman Judy Hicks said McKinney told her she was resigning because a family member had recently taken a job in the Clark County Public Schools system.
According to Kentucky statute, no family member of a seated school board member can be employed by the school district in which the member serves. According to Hicks, McKinney said her sister was unaware of the law when she took the job.
Superintendent Elaine Farris said McKinney was a valuable addition to the board the past nine months.
“I have had the opportunity to work with three different board members from District 5 in my two years as superintendent and each have brought their unique qualities to this board seat,”¿Farris said.¿“Diane brought the parent perspective to this board, and it was very beneficial to the team as we made decisions.”
Hicks, who has known McKinney since she was a student in Clark County, said she knows the decision was a difficult one, and thanked McKinney for her service.
“I have known Diane since she was a student at GRC. She approached her board service with the same energy, enthusiasm and engagement as she did the many activities in which she was involved during high school,” Hicks said.¿“I appreciate her board service during the past nine months, and I respect the very difficult decision she made in resigning from the board.”
Although McKinney’s letter of resignation has been received by Hicks and Farris, it won’t be official until it is accepted by the school board at its regular monthly meeting Aug. 16.
After the board accepts it, Farris must send the board order with resignation letter to the Kentucky Department of Education, which will provide the district with an information packet outlining the board member appointment process.
KRS.160.190 states that any vacancy on any board of education shall be filled by the chief state school officer within 90 days after the vacancy occurs. The local school district has no input on who the state commissioner appoints to the vacant seat.
As it did last year after Berryman’s resignation, the board has to advertise the vacancy and provide applications, which must be filled out and sent directly to KDE.
If more than one person applies for the position, the commissioner must appoint a screening committee from outside the district to review the applications, interview qualified candidates and recommend an individual to the commissioner for consideration. The commissioner can appoint the person recommended by the committee or, if he chooses, name another individual to fill the vacant seat.
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com