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Appointment of new CHS governing board members is delayed

The Grady County Board of Education tabled the appointment of proposed members of Cairo High School’s new governing board Tuesday night after one board member challenged the diversity of the slate of candidates.
Board member Teresa Gee Harris expressed her desire for the panel to be more representative of the Cairo High School student body.
“I don’t have a problem with anyone on this list. What I do have a problem with is what I don’t see on the list,” Ms. Harris said.
Vice Chairman Scott Higginbotham noted the board had not had a copy of the slate of candidates but for three days and he suggested the board take some additional time to consider the proposal submitted by Cairo High School Principal David McCurry.
Based on the conversion charter for Cairo High School that was recently approved by the State Board of Education, a governing board must be established to manage the operation of the school under the approved charter.
The governing board is to consist of four teachers, three employers, three post-secondary representatives and one parent/employer.
Principal McCurry presented a list of candidates including; teachers Jennifer Hand, Tim Helms, Todd Gainous and Tracey Kelshaw; post secondary institution representatives Michael Stewart of Bainbridge State College, Joyce Holstead of Southwest Georgia Technical College, and Ann Landis of Thomas University; employers Carolyn Meads of the city of Cairo, Marty Cannington of Citizens Bank, LaDon Toole of Grady General Hospital, and Michael Moore of Cairo Glass and Paint and a parent of a CHS student.
According to McCurry, the teacher representatives were elected by the CHS teachers; the post secondary representatives were nominated by the presidents of the three institutions; and the employers were nominated by Grady County Joint Development Authority, Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce and Archway Partnership officials.
Board member Jeff Worsham asked if the nominees would have to participate in training for the governing board and McCurry acknowledge they would and he had scheduled training for next month, but noted that could be changed.
“We don’t want to interfere with any training that would be necessary” Worsham said.
Principal McCurry said the training would be conducted by the school’s consultant on the charter application and would be flexible on training dates.
Board member Harris said her intention was not to delay the training, but she requested the opportunity to discuss with McCurry the potential for creating a more diverse governing board.
Also she said Tuesday night it was her wish to identify the school with another term rather than charter. “Too many people are confusing our charter with a state charter school, but that is an issue for us (the board),” board member Harris said.

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