Education

Four selected to committee that will help choose Fayette County's next school superintendent

Four people have been elected by their peers to the screening committee that will help choose the next Fayette County superintendent, including the budget director whose allegations led to a state audit.

Julane Mullins, who was elected to represent classified employees on the committee, made allegations earlier this year that led Kentucky Auditor Adam Edelen to conduct a special examination. The examination found chronic financial mismanagement.

Other people on the committee include Fayette County Education Association President Jessica Hiler, Associate Director of Certified Personnel Meribeth Gaines, both representing certified employees, and the principal representative, Beaumont Principal Kate McAnelly.

School board chairman John Price said in an email to parents that there was a tie for the parent representative on the council and Price was seeking legal counsel about how to proceed.

According to the Fayette County Public Schools website, Roger Cleveland and Sharon Mofield-Boswell are the two parent candidates. Cleveland lost to incumbent Doug Barnett for the second district school board seat in the November general election.

After a year marked by budget cuts and a critical state audit, Fayette Superintendent Tom Shelton resigned to become executive director of the Kentucky Association of School Superintendents. His last working day is Friday.

Longtime Fayette County Educator Marlene Helm has been named interim superintendent. Price has said the board hopes to name a permanent replacement by July.

Under Kentucky law, a screening committee must be comprised of two teachers, one board of education member, one principal, one parent and one classified employee.

Officials from the local NAACP have asked that the district's Equity Council Chairman Roy Woods be placed on the committee as a seventh member because of Fayette County's achievement gap between minority, low income and disabled students and other students. Price has said under state law that he does not have the authority to add members to the screening committee.

Shambra Mulder, the education chair for the local NAACP, said the group contends that critical voices or perspectives are not being allowed based on the district's interpretation of the legislation. She said the local NAACP will ask Kentucky's Attorney General Jack Conway for an opinion on the matter.

Also, members of the Student Voice Team on the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence have suggested that students be allowed to select a peer to serve on the committee.

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