Mt. Vernon Register-News

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July 25, 2013

New board member sworn in

MT. VERNON — Newly named Mt. Vernon Township High School Board of Education member Jeff Harpole was officially sworn in Wednesday at a special board meeting.

Harpole, an alumni of MVTHS, replaces former board member Kim Alvis, who resigned in June because of her new job. The MVTHS Board approved hiring Harpole at the July 15 meeting, but he was not officially sworn in until Wednesday.

“I just look forward to representing the teachers, parents, the community, and especially the children,” said Harpole, a pharmaceutical sales representative. “I’ll do my best to represent them.”

In addition Wednesday, the board held a closed session to discuss the two vacancies left by the sudden resignations of board members Jon Hawthorne and Greg Backes on July 15.

About seven applications have been received for the positions so far and letters of interest are being accepted through Friday.

“We have applications. We’re going to discuss the merits of each one of those,” said Board President Carl Miller, just prior to the closed session.

The board conducted no action after the closed session Wednesday. However, two follow-up special meetings have been set for July 29 and 31, both at 6 p.m., Miller said.

At the July 29 meeting, the board will interview candidates in closed session. Then at the next meeting, the board plans to appoint two new members, Miller said.

Harpole currently serves on the Mt. Vernon City Schools Foundation Board, and helped to form the Mt. Vernon Soccer Booster Club Board. He is also active in the MVTHS Music Boosters.

He said he applied for the school board because it seemed like the right time to do so. His oldest daughter is going to be a senior at MVTHS and his youngest daughter is now entering seventh grade.

If the current building plan holds true, Harpole’s youngest daughter will be part of the first MVTHS freshman class at the newly built high school.

“She’ll be in that first class,” Harpole said.

Also on Wednesday, the board approved three new hires — science teacher Kelly A. James, family consumer science teacher Samantha Gilbert-Smith, and freshman volleyball coach Catherine Kohnen.

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