Mt. Vernon Register-News

July 16, 2013

Two MVTHS board members resign


---- — MT. VERNON — Two members resigned from the Mt. Vernon Township High School Board of Education Monday, citing ethical differences as their primary reason.

Both Jon Hawthorne and Greg Backes read brief resignation letters at the beginning of Monday night’s MVTHS board meeting. After making their statements, they left the meeting.

“Due to ethical and fundamental differences on how a board should operate, along with my personal opinion that this board has not been forthcoming with the taxpayers of Jefferson County, I have no choice but to disassociate myself with this board,” Hawthorne said, reading from his letter.

Backes made similar statements in his letter.

“First, I would like to thank the voters for electing me to the Mt. Vernon Township High School Board of Education. It has been my privilege to serve you,” Backes said, reading from his letter. “Due to philosophical and ethical differences between the administration, board leadership and myself, I feel that it’s time to submit my letter of resignation.”

Neither board member gave a specific reason for their departure.

Even so, Carl Miller, MVTHS board president, said the resignations were likely related to the new high school project.

Reached after the meeting, Hawthorne said he still supports the new school and wants to find another way to serve Jefferson County.

“Even though I’m resigning, that project, it has my full support,” Hawthorne said.

Miller added that the board will now move forward with finding replacements.

These resignations come right on the heels of two prior resignations that occurred over the last two months.

In May, board member Cynthia Davis stepped down and was replaced by Norma Fairchild.

Then, board member Kim Alvis resigned in June because of her new job. The MVTHS Board approved a replacement for her seat Monday night – Jeff Harpole of Mt. Vernon.

Other board actions Monday included:

n Approval of selling two district lots at 207 and 209 South Sixth St. to Steve Jones for $8,250.

n Approval of the resignations of freshman volleyball coach Sara Rennie, science teacher Tracie Shackles, and APEX lab teacher Jacob Flick.

n Approval of the Area Vocational Center’s tentative budget for fiscal year 2013.

n Approval of a new policy related to the Bring Your Own Device program and the 1:1 Computer Initiative.