School Board president, vice president chosen

December 02, 1998

School BoardBy BRENDAN KIRBY / Staff Writer

photo: JOE CROCETTA / staff photographer

With a bow to the old and the new, the Washington County Board of Education picked new leaders Tuesday.

After being sworn in at a ceremony in the board auditorium, the board elected returning board member Edwin Hayes president and new member Paul W. Bailey vice president.

J. Herbert Hardin, who nominated Hayes, said members wanted a leader who could provide continuity.

"I felt he would do the best, most cohesive job for us," he said.

The board discussed who would serve as president and vice president behind closed doors for more than an hour. Board members declined to say what they talked about specifically, however.

"It's a good opportunity to air views and not be constrained," said Hayes, who takes over the helm from Robert L. Kline, who was defeated for re-election last month.


B. Marie Byers, the longest-serving member of the board, said the closed-door discussions focused more on the challenges the board would face than on personalities.

She said members believed it was important that one of the new members who would serve until 2002 be either president or vice president.

"In my experience it's been very good when you meld different experiences," she said.

Byers nominated Bailey for vice president, although she said any of the three new members would have been an excellent choice.

The selection of new officers capped a short agenda. The meeting was preceded by a swearing-in ceremony in which Washington County Circuit Court Clerk Dennis J. Weaver administered the oath of office to the five members who won election last month.

The board that took office on Tuesday consists of seven members, up from five. To accommodate the two extra members, the recording secretary has moved off the dais to a desk below. The second member will take a seat that was previously empty.

Byers said the dais was designed to handle more members. She said local officials have been lobbying the state legislature to expand the membership since 1986.

Having two more voices at board meetings will present a challenge, and Byers said members are considering time limits on speakers to move meetings along.

But members said the extra minds will help.

"You have two more voices in there, two more opinions," Hayes said.

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