Hearing set for candidates

Published 2:00 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Prince Edward County School Board is set to hold a public hearing Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. at 35 Eagle Drive in Farmville regarding the appointment of a candidate to fill the school board vacancy for the Lockett District.

The seat is being vacated Sept. 1 by Dr. Chapman Hood Frazier as he addresses health concerns and focuses on a position as professor in residence at Prince Edward County High School.

According to the School Board Clerk Melanie D. Adams, the candidates include Douglas Farley, Glenn Fowlkes, General Jenkins and Carol Stiff.

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Adams said the candidates will each give a five-minute presentation following by a public comment at which individuals will be able to speak for three minutes each.

“After that there will be a closed session where the board will actually interview each candidate,” Adams said.

She said at this point she didn’t believe the candidate appointed would be on the ballot for the Nov. 7 election.

“What’s going to happen with that is the person that (the board appoints), they will serve a term until a successor is elected and qualified,” Adams said. “…The next time there will be a general election is next November, so it’s likely that this candidate will serve from now until then.”

Adams said there was a possibility that a special election could be held as early as December, but given the expense of holding a special election she didn’t think that would happen.

Adams said the school board will appoint the candidate during a special-called meeting that is tentatively set for Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. “We will know definitely at the Sept. 6 meeting whether this is the date and time,” Adams said.

The Buffalo District, Leigh District, Prospect District and Farmville 701 District seats are on the ballot for the first-ever school board election in Prince Edward County this November.

Lucy Carson, a former principal of Prince Edward County Middle School, is running in the Buffalo District. Dr. Timothy Corbett, a current member of the school board, is running in the Leigh District. Both Dione Jennings and Elzora Stiff are running in the Prospect District. Cainan Townsend, the interim director of education and public programs at the Robert Russa Moton Museum, will run in the Farmville 701 District.

Regarding his resignation, Frazier said, “I didn’t think I’d be able to adequately put the time in necessary to do a really good job on the board,” addressing health issues he cited and his position as professor in residence.

Frazier is the professor in residence for James Madison University at the county’s high school.

“What that means is they will bring a professor in to work one day a week with teachers, to help students that are from diverse backgrounds go to college (or a) university,” Frazier said. “I just didn’t want there to be any kind of conflict of interest, even though I’m not being paid at all by the county… I didn’t want there to be any perception of any kind of conflict.”