Waffle House owner to be sworn in on Fayette school board June 13

Ray Daniels, who owns area Waffle Houses, will be sworn in as the newest Fayette County Public Schools board member at the board’s planning meeting June 13.

The appointed term ends at the end of 2016, and Daniels, 48, said Monday that he will run in the November general election for a four-year term.

Daniels, whom Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt appointed Friday from a field of nine applicants, said he plans to bring his business and leadership skills to the job.

Daniels also is chairman of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System Foundation, which raises money and awareness for community and technical colleges and projects.

“I hope to utilize my overall business background and leadership while on the school board,” Daniels said.

He also said he wants to have a role in “improving the overall health of our school district.”

“My intention is to be a team builder that focuses on execution, accountability and follow-up,” Daniels said. “ I hope to be a bridge between the school district and the business community. We need to activate that resource with the common goal of helping our students to become skilled enough to impact our work force as well as becoming good citizens.”

He said he is married and has two children attending district schools.

State education officials have put school district leaders on notice to give more support to underachieving schools.

Superintendent Manny Caulk recently introduced an improvement plan.

Daniels said district leaders should have the “time and space to implement programs and systems that will turn the tide for underachieving schools.”

“We need to be able to support the superintendent and educators strategically in a long-range plan to impact scores, equity and improve leadership in the district,” he said.

The District 3 seat has been vacant since school board chairman John Price died of leukemia in February.

District 3 includes the Hamburg area of southeast Lexington.

It is not uncommon for appointed school board members to be elected for a four-year term.

Two current board members — chairwoman Melissa Bacon and Daryl Love — were appointed before they were elected.

Bacon was appointed in 2006 and was elected in 2007, 2008, and 2012, according to the district website.

Love was appointed in 2010 and was elected in 2012.

Their terms end this year, and both Bacon and Love have said they will seek re-election in the November general election. She represents District 1 in western Fayette County. Samantha Rodarte also has filed for that seat.

Love represents District 5, which includes some portions of south Lexington. Sharon Mofield Boswell also has filed to run for that seat.

The filing deadline is in August, and no one else has filed for the District 3 seat, according to the Fayette County Clerk’s office.

The terms of two other board members, vice-chairwoman Amanda Ferguson, and Doug Barnett, run through 2018.

Valarie Honeycutt Spears: 859-231-3409, @vhspears