Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt on Thursday appointed Stephanie Aschmann Spires, the former director of a Lexington childrens’ shelter, to the Fayette County Board of Education.
The appointment was made with the following two provisions:
▪ She must resign her position as a member of the Lexington Public Library Board of Trustees.
▪ She must resign from her position as a member of the Lexington Homeless Prevention and Intervention Board.
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Both resignations must be completed prior to her being sworn in as a member of the school board, said Kentucky Department of Education spokeswoman Nancy Rodriguez.
Spires told the Herald-Leader on Thursday that she will resign both positions.
Spires said she wants to be transparent and engage the community. “I look forward to working with the other members of the board and the community to strengthen education and equity in the school system,” she said.
Pruitt had to choose a replacement within 90 days of former board member Amanda Ferguson’s November resignation from the District 4 seat. The appointment will be effective until the end of 2018, which would have been the end of Ferguson’s term. The next four-year term for that seat will be filled in the November 2018 general election.
A screening panel that interviewed candidates late last month gave Pruitt a recommendation.
The seven other candidates were Susan DuArte, Dallam Harper, Christin W. Helmuth, Michael E. Kennedy, Natasha Murray, Ismael A. Shalash and James W. Thomas.
Applicants for the District 4 seat had to meet a number of criteria, including being a resident of the district, which includes an area south of Main Street and east of South Broadway.
Spires joins board members Melissa Bacon, the chairwoman; Doug Barnett, Daryl Love and Ray Daniels, who Pruitt appointed in June to replace John Price, the longtime board chairman who died last year.
In addition to being the former executive director of Arbor Youth Services, Spires had served on various committees and task forces that advocate for children including the Fayette County Public Schools Special Needs Task Force and the Urban County Commission on Youth and Public Safety.