Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

March 17, 2014

School board again has vacancy

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — An unexpected turn came this week as for the second time in the past few months a Pauls Valley Board of Education member has stepped down.

This time is was Jeniece Tate who was forced to resign when it was learned her required hours of continuing education as a school board member had not been met.

Tate, whose last act on the board was helping to pass out cake Wednesday night as her service was formally recognized, made it clear she didn’t really want to resign.

At the same time she didn’t dodge the fact the resignation was needed because she didn’t get the education hours done during the required time period.

“You need so many hours of continuing education,” Tate said.

“I had no choice. It was not my intention to resign, but I didn’t have those hours.”

Tate was first elected to the local school board back in February 2007.

After she earned a new term in 2012 she was required to get six hours of continuing education in the first 15 months after that new term began.

She was quick to take full responsibility for not getting the hours done as part of her duties as a school board member.

Still, Tate said she was “swamped” with her work as an insurance agent as the needed hours simply slipped by her over the months.

“I just never thought about it,” she said. “I didn’t know I needed that six hours in that period of time.”

Tate was clear she felt as though her misstep has let down her fellow school board members.

At the same she feels fortunate to have been a part of some good things while on the board.

“I feel bad for them,” she said about other board members.

“But I have enjoyed it. All the bond stuff, I got to be a part of it and that’s been good for this school district,” she said, referring to bond issues passed by voters and paying for a variety of improvements to PV schools.

It was last fall when Michelle Wood resigned after she and her family moved just outside of the Pauls Valley School District boundaries.

Wood’s open seat was filled by Craig Ensey, who was initially appointed to the post. He then was unopposed during last December’s filing period, allowing him to serve out the remainder of Wood’s term.

With three years remaining on Tate’s full term, the four remaining board members have 60 days to either appoint someone into the open office or call for a special election.

If a replacement is appointed the office would be included in the next school board filing period in December with an election possible in February 2015 to serve out the remainder of the term.

The board also reorganized this week as Shelby Humphrey became the new president, while Brett Agee was named vice president.