Underwood died suddenly last month at the age of 46. The Scotland County Board of Education elected to delay the search for his replacement until the installation of new members elected in November.
According to board chairman Charles Brown, the field is wide open for applicants, as, apart from existing residency requirements, the board has set no other criteria for who will be considered.
“We haven’t set out a list of things that we would look for,” said Brown. “We would like to have somebody that is interested in schools, interested in children, and interested in the welfare of our educational system. That’s a definite requirement.”
Applications will be reviewed at the December meeting of the Scotland County Board of Education, and the deadline may be extended from that point. The seat is one of the board’s at-large positions. Underwood was elected to the board in 2010, and his term will end in 2014.
Board member Darrel Gibson said that applicants should be willing to work as a team in the event that they are selected to serve on the school board.
“I do hope that those who apply for the position are people who are committed to providing excellence in education for all children, someone who is open to working with superintendent and present board to move the community forward,” said Gibson, who added that he would like to see applicants who support ideals similar to Underwood’s.
“Personally, I want to ensure that whoever fills that seat is someone who can uphold the morals and values that Mr. Underwood held,” he said. “He was diligent in believing in all children.”
To be eligible, applicants must live outside the Stewartsville Township. To enquire about eligibility, applicants should call the Scotland County Board of Elections at 277-2595.
Anyone wishing to fill the unexpired term should submit a résumé and cover letter to Nancy Smith, administrative assistant to the board at the A.B. Gibson Education Center. She can be reached at 322 South Main Street, Laurinburg, NC 28352.
At present, the board plans to interview applicants in January.