Lawrence school board to hold special meeting to discuss how to fill vacant seat

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The Lawrence school board will meet Wednesday evening to discuss the process to fill the seat of board member Kay Emerson, who on Friday announced her plans to resign.

“The meeting is for the purposes of accepting the resignation of board member Kay Emerson, who plans to move out of state, and recessing to executive session to discuss employee contract negotiations,” according to a social media post from the school district Sunday morning.


Based on past practice, the board’s leadership team is proposing to publish a notice of the vacancy and a proposed application, process and timeline for the board to appoint someone to fill Emerson’s unexpired term until January 2026, according to the post.

On the timeline the board is considering, the application would be released Tuesday, June 6 with a deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 13 to apply, according to the post. Board members would select applicants to interview during a special meeting on Tuesday, June 20, then conduct those interviews and appoint the new board member during a meeting on Monday, June 26. That person would be sworn in during the board’s regular meeting on Monday, July 10.

Here’s the proposed application from the meeting agenda:


The seven-member board dealt with another resignation last year in a similar way. Board member Andrew Nussbaum announced his plans to resign for a move out of state in July 2022. The six remaining members asked that applicants pledge to run for the seat in the following election if they were appointed. Because Nussbaum was so early into what was a four-year term, state statute dictated that the appointed member would serve until the January following the next election.

Thirteen people applied for Nussbaum’s vacant seat, and the board chose to interview four of them, ultimately selecting GR Gordon-Ross. One of the other three, Anne Costello, has filed to run for school board in the upcoming city election.

In addition, the seats of school board members Shannon Kimball, Paula Vann, Erica Hill and Carole Cadue-Blackwood will all be on the ballot in the November election. As of Sunday, Cadue-Blackwood was the only incumbent who had filed for reelection. The filing deadline is noon Thursday, June 1.

The special meeting will be open to the public but will not include public comment, according to the post. The board will also meet in executive session, meaning behind closed doors, to discuss contract negotiations. See the meeting agenda at this link.

The meeting is set to begin at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 31 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. The meeting will also be livestreamed on the district’s YouTube channel and broadcast on Midco channel 26.

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