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School board seeks to fill vacancy

Interest in the vacant District 5 Grady County Board of Education seat appears high as four prospective candidates have already submitted letters of interest.
On Tuesday night, Grady County School Board Chairman Drew Pyrz outlined the procedure the board will follow in selecting a replacement for former school board vice chairman Scott Higginbotham, who vacated his office by qualifying to run for mayor of Cairo.
“We are going to ask the public to submit letters of interest in filling the District 5 seat and we will begin accepting letters tomorrow,” Chairman Pyrz said.
According to the board chairman, the four letters previously submitted will be considered along with any others that are submitted between now and the close of business on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
During the week of Oct. 1 the school board will ask Grady County Probate Judge Denise Maddox to verify the candidates are residents of District 5.
At the school board’s Oct. 8 meeting board members will go behind closed doors to discuss the interested candidates and hopefully make a selection.
The candidates who have already expressed an interest in replacing Higginbotham are the Rev. Dr. Ron McCaskill, Jim Ellis, John White, and Terry Prince.
Chairman Pyrz said a letter of nomination for a fifth individual has been submitted, but until that person submits a letter of interest his/her identity remains confidential.
During Tuesday night’s meeting board member Teresa Gee Harris recommended material from brochures produced by the Georgia School Boards Association for new school board members be used in any advertisement soliciting letters of interest from the public as well as be made available to candidates who express interest in serving.
“It is very important for all candidates to understand board governance. They need to know the duties and responsibilities going in and GSBA does a wonderful job with that,” Ms. Harris said.
For more information about making application to serve on the board contact Superintendent Lee M. Bailey at 229-377-3701 or stop by the school system’s central office on North Broad Street.
The candidate selected by the majority of the school board to fill the vacancy will serve out the remainder of Higginbotham’s term, which expires on Dec. 31, 2014.

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