PRC school board makes district 2 appointment, district 5 election is Nov. 3

Published 3:12 pm Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Pearl River County school board in a specially called meeting on Thursday, Oct. 15, named Bonnie Sanders to fill the unexspired District 2 term of Byron Stockstill, who resigned on Aug. 12.

The board made the appointment in what was an open session after discussing the applicants for the job in a closed, or executive, session, said Supt. Dennis E. Penton.

State law allows for specially called meetings with only a public notice posted on the boardroom door one hour before the meeting begins, Penton said.

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The board did just that.

Penton said he did not attend the session in which Sanders was appointed. “It was not necessary that I be there,” he said.

The vote on Sanders was 3 to 1. Board member Margie Creel voted against the appointment and board members Sherwin Taylor, Michelle Boyd and Jeff Jones voted for the appointment.

Sanders will fill the unexspired term of Stockstill. Sanders’ appointment is called an interim appointment because she will serve only a partial term until Dec. 31, 2011, when the regularly scheduled election for the seat is held in District 2. She is an employee of Lockheed.

Stockstill in his letter of resignation to the board in August did not say why he was resigning, but when contacted later at his home here, he said he resigned because his job requirements were causing conflicts with his board attendance and responsibilities.

Sanders is supposed to be sworn in at the Nov. 2 regularly scheduled school board meeting at the school’s district offices in Carriere. The Pearl River County school board oversees and governs the Pearl River Central schools here and at McNeill. It is the only fully elected school board in the county.

In addition to the Sanders’ appointment, the District 5 seat of Margie Creel is up for a regularly scheduled election on Nov. 3. Already one opponent, Twila Crabtree, has announced to run against Creel, who has said she plans to run for re-election.

The terms on the board are for six years and come up for election on a rotating basis.

Crabtree announced her candidacy in the Tuesday Item, saying “accountability” was the issue in the upcoming campaign. She charged that “accountability” was lacking in connection with the school’s superintendent and board members.

Crabtree said two of her children had graduated from PRC and one was still attending the school. She said her background and experience qualified her for the job.

Sanders said she submitted her application letter to the board for the district 2 seat in hopes of having an impact on the quality of education in the district. The 44-year-old resident of McNeill said she wants to be a champion of the math and science programs in the schools.

She has a daughter in the 7th grade at the school and is married to Ernest Johnson.

She has worked for 20-plus years at the Stennis Space Center and is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi. She said she was interviewed twice before being picked and had no idea the board would select her to fill Stockstill’s seat.