Urbana school board tussles over leadership


Polite abstentions by board members not wanting to vote for themselves led to difficulties with installing new leaders at Tuesday’s Urbana school board meeting.

The board held its annual organizational meeting to vote on a new president and vice president for 2017 Tuesday. In recent years, one name had been offered for each, but this time there were two options for both offices.

Board member Alyssa Dunham nominated Jan Engle to continue as board president, and board member Tim Lacy nominated board member Jack Beard for the office. When it came time to vote, both Engle and Beard abstained; Dunham and board member Darrell Thomas voted for Engle, and Lacy voted for Beard. The vote needs a majority of board members, at least three people, to pass, so a second vote was taken.

For the second vote, Beard said he was withdrawing his name and voted for Engle in the vote. The rest of the board members repeated their original votes. Engle was elected 4-1.

For vice president, Beard nominated Lacy for the position, while Dunham nominated Thomas. Again, the nominees both voted to abstain, leaving a 2-1 vote (Dunham and Engle voting for Thomas; Beard voting for Lacy). In the second round of voting, Thomas hesitated for a moment and voted for himself instead of abstaining, leaving a 4-1 vote (Lacy continued to abstain on the second vote).

Following the organizational meeting, board members met in regular session and discussed a number of topics, including the Navistar tax abatement and a progress report on the construction of school buildings. The board also approved athletic department volunteers and accepted the resignations of maintenance director Daniel Shover, associate Kim Pickering and junior high assistant football coach Mike Mays.

By Casey S. Elliott


Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

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