MT. VERNON – Today is the last day to submit a letter of interest to become a new member of the Mt. Vernon Township High School Board of Education.
The MVTHS Board set the Friday deadline as part of an effort to move quickly to fill the vacancy left by former member Kim Alvis. School officials hope to announce the new member at the next regularly scheduled board meeting July 15.“I'm pretty sure that will occur,” said School Board President Carl Miller of the July 15 announcement.Alvis resigned in late June because of her new job in St. Louis. This is the second resignation for the MVTHS Board in a little over a month, as Cynthia Davis stepped down in May for family reasons. Norma Fairchild was sworn in as Davis' replacement last week.Having to fill two vacancies in such a short period of time is “not very typical,” said Superintendent Michael Smith.“It's just a thing that happens. Both of the (resignations) were for personal reasons,” Smith said. “In this short of a time frame, to have two openings, I'd say it's rather unique.”School officials have advertised in the media for Alvis' replacement. Initially, officials were only going to seek applicants by posting a notice on the district's website and announcing the opening at a public meeting, but then they decided more publicity was needed.“There's an idea of consistency since that's how we did it last time,” Smith said of using the media. “Also, we figured (having it) in the paper might catch some additional folks.”Meanwhile, the board is helping Fairchild get used to her new position. On Monday, a three-hour orientation was held for the new board member.At the session, board members discussed a broad range of issues with Fairchild, including board policy, collective bargaining agreements, the budgeting and levy process, the new school project and many others.“That went very well,” Smith said of the orientation. “It was a lot of information for one morning. … For a new person coming in, it's quite a bit of work.”In addition, as part of Fairchild's orientation, she has been assigned a “veteran mentor.” This mentor is an experienced board member who will serve as a source of information. Fairchild's mentor is MVTHS Board Vice President Karen Goodwine.“It's helpful if they have someone they can freely call and talk to, especially in the finance area,” Goodwine said.Fairchild was unavailable for comment.Letters of interest for Alvis' position can still be dropped off today at MVTHS, 320 S. 7th St. in Mt. Vernon.For more information, contact Smith at 246-5908.