BoE set to select interim member after 2 months
by Michelle Babcock
June 15, 2014 12:00 AM | 2780 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kelly Marlow Trim
Kelly Marlow Trim
The Cherokee County School Board will select an interim board member Thursday, after nearly two months without District 1 representation.

School district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby said the board will select the interim member by a majority vote Thursday, and the new board member will be sworn in before the start of the July 23 meeting.

“That person will serve from when he or she is sworn in until the person who wins the November special election is sworn in,” Jacoby said.

Former District 1 board member Kelly Marlow Trim resigned her seat in April after her felony conviction, leaving a vacancy on the board for nearly two months.

Since more than half of the convicted school board member’s four-year term remained when she resigned, local law required the district hold a special election to fill the vacancy.

The special election will be held at the same time as the general election Nov. 4, and the board will appoint an interim board member to hold the position until the elected member can be sworn in.

Three people applied to the district by the June 5 deadline to be considered for the interim position, including: Kyla Cromer, James “Jim” Nicholson and William “Bill” Wuth.

Cromer, who ran against Marlow in the 2012 election — and lost by 24 votes — said in May she planned to apply for the interim position and to run in the special election.

In her application — which was attached to the school board’s meeting agenda online — Cromer said she was a homemaker, but had experience teaching third, fourth and sixth grade at a public school district in Ohio and was the director of education at Sylvan Learning Center in Woodstock.

“I care about the students, employees and taxpayers of the county,” Cromer said in her application. “I have demonstrated the qualities of leadership, teamwork, dedication, public service and humility necessary to represent my community, and yet also serve as part of a seven-member board.”

Cromer said she has been involved in the PTA since 2003, serving as a president, vice president, parliamentarian, secretary, membership chair, room parent chair, communication chair, room parent and committee member.

Nicholson, who said in his application he was retired, listed five different school districts where he worked — including Cherokee County schools.

“I understand from the viewpoint of parent, employee and taxpayer — I know the role of the board,” Nicholson said in his application. “I have no agenda to get anyone, and I have a good deal of common sense.”

Nicholson said he worked as an assistant principal at the elementary, middle and high school levels and taught a variety of classes from physical education to mathematics and special education. Nicholson also said he had been a member of the PTA, PTSA and Booster Club.

Wuth, also retired, said in his application he had six years of experience in administration in private schools and 28 years of experience teaching. Wuth said he had been a member of an educational support organization in the past.

“With all that the board and community have gone through during the past several months, you do not need someone who will come on like gang-busters — except in one area: peacemaking and a quiet spirit,” Wuth said in his application.

When asked about how the applicants would like to change the district — if “all things were possible” — each of the three candidates had varying answers.

Wuth said he wouldn’t change a thing, yet.

“At the present time, I do not see myself promoting any changes in the district,” Wuth said. “All things considered, I think I would need to be on the board for a full year before even considering any changes.”

Cromer said, “If all things were truly possible, I wish for a societal change so all students came to us happy, healthy and willing to learn.”

Cromer said she wished the district could also offer a creative and performing arts high schools.

“We have so many creative and talented (students),” she said.

Nicholson said if all things were possible, he would like to see the district have smaller class sizes and increased pay for all employees.

Marlow was sanctioned by her fellow board members last October for violating board ethics, and the applicants were asked what they thought the role of a board member was.

Nicholson said his role on the board would be “to wisely use the taxpayer dollars to provide the best education for the children of Cherokee County.”

Wuth said he saw his role as being “a servant of the people,” not an “agent of change.”

“I see my primary role as that of representing the parents who live in the Post 1 district, sharing with the board any concerns which parents may have,” Wuth said. “My secondary role would be that of supporting the board within the community, and by learning as much as possible about the needs of the school district.”

Cromer said her role as a board member would entail being a “responsible and respectful member of a policy-making team,” guiding the district “in a safe, nurturing environment.”

Cromer said her role on the board would also include employing the “best possible person” as the superintendent, protecting assets and property and being a good steward of taxpayer funds.

“Additionally, a member of the board should be able and willing to work with the superintendent and his staff, with local elected officials and parent leaders in the community,” she said.

Cromer has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and a kindergarten through eighth grade teaching certificate; Nicholson has a master’s degree in Elementary Education; and Wuth has a B.A., but he did not specify the subject in his application.

Wuth has two children, ages 45 and 49; Nicholson has two children, ages 15 and 22; and Cromer has two children, ages 15 and 17.

The Cherokee Board of Education meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at the historic Canton High School Board Auditorium at 111 Academy St. in Canton.

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