Meridian Mayor Cheri Barry is beginning to look for new blood on the Meridian School Board. The board has come under scrutiny for the current state of the Meridian district.
The board has two openings right now. Barry is asking for the community's help in filling those openings. And she's enlisting the help of one of her former rivals in trying to find those people.
Mayor Barry said this is the first time a committee is being involved in the process. She said she's doing exactly what she said she was going to do during her campaign, and that's put the power back in the hands of the people.
Barry said 12 members have been selected to serve on the Education Advisory Committee that will work immediately to select two new school board members.
Former mayoral candidate Casandra Sloan, longtime educator Betty Smith and Eleanor Henson will serve as the co-chairs for the committee.
The terms of school board members Fred Wile and George Myers have expired. President Edward Lynch's term will be up in March 2010.
As mayor, Barry appoint the new members of the school board. But she says the committee will make recommendations based on a 10-point plan that applicants will submit, pitching their plan to move the district forward.
"It is a five-year appointment and we look forward to selecting three new members that will work closely with the superintendent and school system," said Mayor Barry.
I'm excited because it is a diverse group," said Sloan. "It's from all walks of life, from all over this city. So the people get a voice in what happens to the education of our children and that's why we're so excited."
"It will be a quick process, but it will be fun and an exciting process," said co-chair Smith.
Sloan and Smith say committee members will not see applicants' names, but only review their 10-point plan and make recommendations based on that.
For those interested in applying to serve on the school board, you may call 601-485-1819 to request an application to be mailed, or you may pick up one at the mayor's office.
You must have your 10-point plan and application submitted to the mayor's office by 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7. Applications may be mailed or returned to:
Mayor Cheri Barry
601 24th Avenue
Meridian, MS 39301
P.O. Box 1430
Meridian, MS 39302