Search is underway for new Roanoke County School Board member

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ROANOKE COUNTY (WSLS10)-- It's been more than a week since Roanoke County School Board member, Tom McCracken, resigned his seat to pave the way for a vote that promotes his wife to serve as acting assistant principal at Northside High School. It's a decision he says the board would not have agreed to if he remained a member.

Now the search is on to fill his seat-- Roanoke County announced last week it would begin accepting applications. The application process is open until Thursday at 5 p.m. So far a few people have expressed interest in the position.

Mike Wray, the School Board Chairman, says it's a big task. School Board Members are responsible for setting policy, approving the budget and working closely with the superintendent to make sure all 26 Roanoke County schools are running smoothly. But with five members on the board, all representing different areas of the county, the board members have to work hard to balance themselves out.

"Each one contributes their own talents and each one may have a talent in one area or another," says Wray. "That's how you come together as a board, feeding on each other's abilities and thoughts."

Wray says with so many different personalities, it can become a negotiating process at times. The board members all work together to try and find common ground.

While having children at one of the schools in the district keeps board members more in the loop, that's not a necessary qualification to apply.

This is the second time in the past few years that the School Board has had to replace a member in the middle of the term, so there is some prior experience with making decisions like this.

"You wouldn't think it would happen very often, but it's happening pretty often," Wray says. "We'll probably follow some rules that they have [used before]. We'll make public the name of the applicants, but do the interviews privately."

It's a process that will be quickly put in motion after the application deadline on Thursday. A new board member could be in place by as early as the July board meeting, but will definitely be announced by the beginning of the school year.

Here's information from Roanoke County on the application process:

The Roanoke County School Board will accept applications from qualified voters residing in the Catawba Magisterial District who would like to be considered for the vacant Catawba District School Board seat.   The School Board will accept online applications beginning Tuesday, June 14, 2016.  The deadline to submit applications is Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 5 PM.  Applications must be emailed to Angela Roberson, Clerk to the Roanoke County School Board at: aroberson@rcs.k12.va.us.

Applications should contain, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact phone number
  • E-mail address
  • Education
  • Work background
  • Brief statement why you are seeking the appointment
  • Any other information you would like to share with the School Board
  • The length of the submitted application should not exceed two typed pages.  No one will be considered who did not file an application by the stated deadline.  Individual board members will have access to applications as the School Board Clerk receives them.  On June 23 at 6 p.m., the board will release the names of individuals who apply.

    If consensus can be reached on a candidate, an appointment of that person will be made at the next meeting of the School Board.  The person appointed must meet the qualifications for office before sitting with the board.  The School Board reserves the right to modify this procedure as deemed necessary.