Public hearing set for Southampton school board

Published 11:34 am Friday, May 23, 2014

COURTLAND—Three seats on the Southampton County School Board are up for appointment next month, and residents can share their opinions of who should serve. A public hearing is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, June 3, at the School Board office complex on 21308 Plank Rd., Courtland.

Currently, Roberta Naranjo represents the Boykins District; Chris Smith is for the Jerusalem District; and Diane Jones is the At-Large member. Their terms expire on Monday, June 30. The new terms for anyone appointed to those seats would be from July 1 to June 30, 2018. The selection is scheduled to be announced at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 10, at the same location.

Candidates are reminded that they should attend both meetings or notify their intentions to the committee. On that panel are Emerson Kitchen Sr., Mark Hodges and Wayne Cosby, who leads it.

“I will get an ad together for the newspaper and communicate with the superintendent for a time and place to meet,” said Cosby. “We consider whatever is brought to us on that particular day.”

He added that candidates can present themselves or have people to speak on their behalf. Letters or petitions can be submitted to indicate to the committee that people in the particular jurisdiction would like to serve.

Though Cosby doesn’t know who nominated him, he said he had been appointed by a circuit court judge a few years ago — he seemed to recall Judge Rodham Delk. The duty is an annual one because terms are staggered. His own term is four years.

Though Cosby has not served on the school board, he’s been familiar enough with the school system.

He started teaching biology and science at Southampton High School in 1966-67, and a few years later went into administration, becoming an assistant principal. After 13 years, he left to become the clerk of the Southampton County Circuit Court.

To the best of Cosby’s knowledge, the appointment system is the only one the county has used when it comes to choosing school board members. Whether it’s that or by vote is all the same to him.

“I don’t care one way or another. It doesn’t make a bit of difference to me,” he said. “We’re all concerned about getting the best people.”

Already familiar with the aforementioned nominees and the rest of the school board, Cosby said, “We’ve been fortunate to have good boards. Not only good people on the board, but also those pursuing positions. It’s fortunate for everybody.”