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By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
The Starkville Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday to appoint Jenny Turner to the Starkville School District Board of Trustees. Ward 5 Alderman Jeremiah Dumas and Ward 7 Alderman Henry Vaughn recused themselves from the vote.
Turner will replace board member Pickett Wilson, whose five-year term will expire at next monthâ€™s regular school board meeting. The board of aldermen is responsible for appointing four out of the five school board members, while the fifth is elected by SSD voters living outside the city limits.
Turner is an attorney and has lived in Starkville since 2003. She also works part-time as an administrative hearing officer for the city, a position she must resign in order to serve on the school board.
Turner has two children within the SSD and has been active volunteer within the schools for several years.
â€śI think we all benefit from a good school system, whether youâ€™re a parent or whether youâ€™re a stakeholder. I think itâ€™s important for the entire community to have people who are willing to serve on the school board,â€ť she said.
Doug Bedsaul, Sylvia Byrd and Jonita Thompson also submitted themselves for consideration for the position. Candidates were asked a series of questions by the aldermen and City Attorney Chris Latimer in a public interview during the board of aldermenâ€™s regular meeting last night. Each candidate, including Turner, said they would be committed to improving communication between the board and the district stakeholders.
â€śI think this is an exciting time because weâ€™re getting ready to hire a new superintendent, our facilities are probably the best theyâ€™ve been in a long time with the bond issue, weâ€™ve upgraded our facilities, weâ€™ve got good faculty (and) weâ€™ve got good administrators. I think ... itâ€™s a really good time for us to look to the future and to move forward to lots of good things that we can do,â€ť Turner said.