The Moore County Board of Education plans to appoint another board member in a special meeting on Wednesday, June 17, filling one of three vacant seats.
Chairman Bruce Cunningham told The Times that the Board's attorney, Ken Soo, has advised making the appointment as a precaution, to help ensure that the Board maintains a quorum and can legally take action.
In the wake of Dr. Bob Grimesey's dismissal and reinstatement, four of the board members who voted to terminate his contract have resigned.
Only one of those seats has been filled. The Board named former board member Pam Thompson to fill an at large seat in a special meeting on Thursday, June 11. Thompson will be sworn in during Wednesday's special meeting, scheduled for 6:30 pm at Carthage Elementary School.
That will give the Board five members: Cunningham, Thompson, Ed Dennison, Charles Lambert, and Laura Lang. And five is the minimum number of members the Board needs to make any decisions.
Attorney Soo advised that adding a sixth member would be wise, so a vote to do so is on the agenda for the special meeting.
Also on the agenda is a discussion of how the Board goes about selecting individuals to fill the two remaining seats.
The Board has been accepting applications from interested parties, setting a deadline of Tuesday at 5:00 pm. Initially, the plan was for Board members to narrow that field and then interview finalists during an already scheduled Monday, June 22 Work Session.
But, in an interview with The Times on Monday, Cunningham said he is no longer certain that is the best way to proceed.
"I am questioning the efficacy of using that method to narrow fifty applicants down to two," Cunningham said.
And the quality of the applicants who have already submitted their names makes an interview seem almost beside the point. In addition to former members of the School Board, they include former deans of university departments, veteran educators, and a variety of seasoned professionals.
"You could put all the names in the hat, and pull out five, and you'd have a great board," Cunningham said.
"I'm determined that we are not going to embarrass these people with an interrogation, he said. "I don't want to create winners and losers."
"I hear from some people that they want new faces, and from others that they want old faces. I want good faces — and those aren't mutually exclusive."
"I don't believe another school board has been confronted with this," he said. "I'm doing the best I can to get to a place that makes sense.
The special meeting begins at 6:30 pm on Wednesday, June 17 in the Auditorium of Carthage Elementary School at 312 Rockingham Street in Carthage.