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Once in office, newly elected school board members face learning curve

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Three members of the Huntsville City School Bard will soon be leaving, to be replaced by three new faces. With this turnover comes a learning curve.

In November, there will be more inaugural members on the board than time-tested veterans, like Laurie McCaulley.

“They’re the new quorum of the board, which is exciting, but then nervous (sic) at the same time,” said McCaulley, with a chuckle.

McCaulley says she came into office with her own misconceptions about her role, misconceptions she’s ready to clear up for the newly elected.

“I’ll soon be the senior board member, I should know better in some things. So, my goal is to guide, help train, and be a resource if they need it,” said McCaulley.

Beth Wilder, Walker McGinnis, and whoever wins the District 3 seat – Elisa Ferrell or Anson Knowles – will have to attend training in Montgomery and Birmingham, learning state laws governing school boards and meeting decorum.

“I want them all in the meantime to study the new bills that govern what we do and how we do it,” said McCaulley. “I think they’ll come away with a new idea of what the school board is truly supposed to be.”

The new board members will want to be a quick study. They’ll step into leading a changing district, trying to gain Unitary Status and with plans to build several new schools.

Despite the task ahead, Superintendent Casey Wardynski is confident the newly elected board members will step into their roles with ease.

“Once they join the board they’ll be privy to more information,” said Wardynski, in reference to ongoing mediation between the district and the Department of Justice. “I have every confidence they’ll be the type of leaders who will help bring Huntsville to Unitary Status under the court’s jurisdiction and then help continue to advance education here.”

The board members-elect will take office the first Monday of November.