The Scotland County Board of Education will publicly interview five applicants for its vacant seat during its monthly meeting on Monday.
Invitations to the meeting have been issued to each of the five applicants: insurance agency owner and former school board member Charlie Fipps of Laurel Hill, retired educator Emma McNeil-Stone of Laurinburg, business owner Jeff Shelley of Laurel Hill, Hoke County Schools Executive Director of Federal Programs and School Improvement Stacy Stewart of Gibson, and physical therapist Jamie Sutherland of Laurinburg.
The seat available is the former position of James Underwood, who died unexpectedly in October. The candidates will be called in alphabetical order to give a three-minute personal statement. Each of them will also field five questions from the sitting board members, with two minutes to answer each question.
“There will not be a decision made on Monday, that’s for sure,” said board chairman Charles Brown. “We will probably as a board declare further steps we will take at that point.”
Interviews will be held at the beginning of the board meeting, which begins at 6 p.m. at the A.B. Gibson Education Center. The board intends to select its new member prior to its February meeting.
In other business, Assistant Superintendent of Auxiliary Services Larry Johnson will bring before the board a policy to expand the academic year to 185 student days in accordance with N.C. statutes.
The law, passed by the N.C. General Assembly in 2011, formerly required 180 student days in the school year. Scotland County Schools, along with many other school systems statewide, was granted a waiver for the 2012-2013 school year.
The amended policy to be approved by the board reads: “Except for year-round schools or schools operating under a modified calendar, the opening date for students will be no earlier than the Monday closest to August 26, and the closing date for students will be no later than the Friday closest to June 11.”
Previously, the policy provided that the first day of school should not be before the Monday closest to Aug. 25 and that the last day of school should not be later than the Friday closest to June 10.
Prior to Monday’s meeting, the board will also recognize six Scotland County teachers for becoming National Board Certified last year.