Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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April 14, 2014

School board gets new man — Pauls Valley’s school board has a new member after Mike Hamilton was appointed to an open post earlier this week.

Hamilton was the board’s choice to replace Jeniece Tate, who was forced to resign last month after it was learned she hadn’t met the required continuing education hours for a school board member.

The appointment came Wednesday night as Hamilton was the choice after current board members met with three candidates in a closed-door session.

“He will be sworn in at the next meeting,” Superintendent Darsha Huckabaa said, referring to the board’s regular meeting in May.

“He will serve out this time now,” she said. “If he decides to file to serve out the remainder of the term he can do that in December.”

The superintendent is referring to the annual school filing period in early December.

Hamilton’s appointment essentially means he will serve through at least that time, when he or any other interested candidate can file to serve Tate’s original term, which is scheduled to go through 2017.

The school board seat opened up in March when Tate was forced to leave the office.

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.

At some point it was discovered those hours hadn’t been completed, which led to Tate’s resignation made official at the board’s regular meeting a month ago.

Since then Pauls Valley school officials received interest from a trio of local residents.

“Three people contacted the school with a interest in serving on the school board,” Huckabaa said.

“The board brought them in one at a time and more or less listened to them and what they had to say,” she said.

“Then it was Mike Hamilton who was appointed to serve. He said he was willing to serve because he wanted to help the schools in any way that he could.

“I appreciate Mike and the other candidates for coming in because they’re willing to serve.”

The situation is similar to one experienced by the board in 2013.

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.

Ensey then was unopposed during last December’s filing period, allowing him to serve out the remainder of Wood’s term.

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