Filing for school board starts July 22

Published 12:01 am Sunday, July 10, 2022

SALISBURY — An unusual number of Rowan-Salisbury Schools Board of Education seats are up for grabs and most sitting members are planning to run again or at least are weighing the possibility.

Five of the seven seats on the board will be on the ballot come November and filing opens at noon on July 22. This is more than usual because of an election to the remaining two years of Susan Cox’s term. No incumbents said they have decided to bow out when the Post contact them last week.

Board Chair Dean Hunter said he plans to file and serve at least one more term, saying he has a vested interest in the schools because his children attend them and his wife is a teacher.

Former chair Kevin Jones said he is likely to file. “I’ve been praying through it,” he said.

Jones said his term on the board has been tough, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and superintendent turnover, but he said he is still committed to local schools and improving education.

Jean Kennedy, the longest-serving member on the board and a retired teacher, said she is unsure if she will pursue another term. “At this point I’m indecisive,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy added she initially planned to finish her term and not run again, but she is torn because of how much knowledge and experience on the board she now has.

Cox won her 2020 election unintentionally and served part of her term before moving to Guilford County in 2021. The board then appointed Lynn Marsh to serve on the board until the next general election. The remaining two years of the term are up for grabs. Marsh said she plans to run for the remainder of the term.

The only candidate whose seat will certainly change hands is Travis Allen. He won the Republican primary for Rowan County sheriff in May and is favored to win the general election in November. He plans to finish up his school board term as he steps in as sheriff.

Vice Chair Alisha Byrd-Clark and Brian Hightower will hold their seats until 2024 and, if there are no resignations, the board will return to its regular election cycle.

Which seat candidates run for is determined by where they live. Marsh will face competition for the remainder of the southeast area seat from Michael Chapman, who used to drive a bus for the district.

Filing for school board seats will close at noon on Aug. 19 and comes with a $5 filing fee at the board of elections office.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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