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Hartselle Enquirer

7 prospective candidates attend BOE workshop

At least seven prospective candidates attended last week’s Hartselle Board of Education candidate workshop to help educate the public on the roles and qualifications of board members.

All five current board of education members were present including president Jennifer Sittason, Monty Vest, Dr. James Joy, Bruyne Rollins and Randy Sparkman. All but Rollins has announced plans to run for election in the August election.

Ronnie Abercrombie and Venita Jones also attended the meeting and have expressed interest in running for the board of education.

The meeting, which was held June 19 at the board of education central office, was sponsored by the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce. The guest speaker was Sally Howell, executive director of the Alabama Association of School Boards.

Howell briefed the board members on the minimum criteria for being board members, which was recently passed by the Alabama Legislature in this year’s session.

Those minimum requirements included typical items such as not being a registered sex offender or having been convicted of a felony.

Other requirements were an equivalent of a high school diploma, not being employed by the board and not serving on a board of a private school.

However, one requirement has drawn some attention in recent weeks. That was being a person of “good moral character.”

Howell said these provision would have to be cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice, but she didn’t anticipate that there would be much trouble getting them approved.

Howell also said that once board members are elected, they will be required to do several things or they could be declared ineligible for the next school board term by the state school superintendent.

Those requirements are attending a minimum number of board meetings and receiving training for serving on the board of education.

Howell did add that one aspect that is important to having a successful board is teamwork.

“That’s when everyone is working together for the good of the schools and the students,” Howell said. “It takes teamwork.”

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