BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
At a special called Butler County Board of Education (BOE) on Thursday, Oct. 7, Wayne Boswell was selected to the District 4 board seat.
The seat was declared vacant at the Thursday, Sept. 16, BOE regular meeting upon BOE legal counsel Pete Hamilton’s recommendation because Kevin Mitchell, who was elected in 2020 to the seat in the general election, failed to make board meetings or deliver his intentions to assume the position.
Mitchell is currently serving as Hayneville’s police chief. Should he have accepted the position as a Board of Education member, under Alabama law, he would have had to vacate his position with Hayneville.
Linda Hamilton, who was duly elected to the District 4 seat in the 2014 election and decided not to run for the seat again, stood in as the representing board member since the 2020 elections.
Four candidates placed applications with the BOE. They were Carlos Bennett, R. Wayne Boswell, May Gaffney, and Gloria Cook Warren. All four were slated to interview with the board.
Only Boswell and Cook were interviewed. Bennett was not present and Gaffney had withdrawn her candidacy.
Both Boswell and Warren were each given five minutes to make an open statement about their interest in serving on the board. They were then asked seven questions determined by the board members.
Those questions included:
This board is a board of delegates. Have you served on a board of governance of another institution?
What is your understanding of the basic role or responsibility of this board?
What do you see as the three main needs of the school system?
How would you deal with a necessary but unpopular decision such as discharge of an employee or school consolidation that could adversely impact your district?
What is your vision of our school system and where do you think it needs to be in four years?
How do you feel about the current policy regarding the mask mandate on school property?
Federal COVID relief funds that our school system has received are earmarked for addressing student learning loss, supporting student’s social, emotional, mental health, and academic needs and mitigating the spread of COVID. Do you have a priority among these items?
After the two interviews were conducted, the BOE entered into executive session to discuss the candidates’ qualifications and answers.
After deliberation, the BOE returned to call the meeting back in session and made the announcement to select Boswell to serve the remainder of the vacant District 4 position.
It was noted by District 3 Board Member and Vice-Chairman Brandon Sellers before the interviews that both Boswell and Warren represented nearly 80 combined years of experience in the Butler County School System (BCSS) and there could not be two better applicants for the vacated board seat.
Boswell ran for the District 4 BOE seat as an independent in the 2020 general election.
His stated qualifications included being a product of the school system and graduating Greenville High School class of 1967
Boswell also holds a B.S. in Ed., M.S. in Ed., M.S. in Special Ed., and Ed.S Troy State University and was a teacher, counselor and assistant principal and served 31+ years in the Central Office for the BCSS.
He retired in 2009 and has since continued involvement in public education and is a member of the Butler County Education Retirees Association.
Boswell will be sworn in at a special called BOE meeting on Oct. 12 at 6 p.m. at the Central Office Boardroom.
Other business conducted at the special called meeting included approval of bid results for the Central Office gym roof repairs and black vinyl chain link fencing for the Georgiana football stadium perimeter.
Oak Hill was given the contract approval for the gym roof repairs in the amount of $58,784. Allied Fence was given the contract approval for stadium fencing in the amount of $25,708.89.
The BOE also voted to expel a student for disciplinary reasons after deliberation in executive session.