The seven members of the Aiken County Board of Education will consult Tuesday with a legal counsel concerning naming an interim school district superintendent, accepting the resignations of two board members and planning an election to fill their seats.
The board will receive legal and contractual advice in executive session after its regular meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Silver Bluff High School at DeSoto Drive, Aiken. The board meets at different schools in the county twice every semester.
At a special called meeting Thursday, the board voted to accept the resignation of Aiken County Public School District Superintendent Dr. Sean Alford effective Friday. After the board voted 6-2-1 to accept Alford's resignation, board members Ahmed Samaha and Tad Barber, a former board vice chairman, resigned immediately.
After Samaha's and Barber's resignations, board member Rosemary English, a retired teacher in Aiken County Public Schools and an assistant principal at Midland Valley High who has been on the board since 1998, said she would resign from the board effective Friday, the same day Alford's resignation will become effective.
Until those three seats are filled through an election, the Aiken area will not have full representation on the Aiken County School Board.
In an email Friday, Cynthia Holland, the director of Registration & Elections for Aiken County, said she cannot determine filing dates for candidates for the seats or a date for the election until she receives the resignation letters from Samaha, Barber and English.
In an email Monday, Holland said she had not received Samaha's and Barber's resignation letters. She told the Aiken Standard on Monday that she sent an email to Keith Liner, the chairman of the School Board, and he replied “he would provide me with the information after (Tuesday)'s meeting.”
The nine seats on the Aiken County School Board represent nine different districts across five attendance areas.
The seats held by Samaha, Barber and English represent residents of attendance Area 1 in Aiken, according to the school district's website at acpsd.net. Board member Jason Crane represents residents in attendance Area 5, which includes New Ellenton and Jackson, and attendance Area 1, according to the district's website.
A map of the areas the School Board members represent is on the School Board page under “About Us” on the district's website.
Diana Floyd, a former member of the board of the Public Education Partners, or PEP, said she is concerned about equal representation on the School Board for people and students who live and attend schools in attendance Area 1 in Aiken.
“One of my biggest concerns is that we make sure that we have representation through the entire district before any major decisions are made,” Floyd said.
She said those major decisions would include not renewing contracts, canceling programs or hiring a new superintendent.