Lawrence school board to begin process to fill vacant seat

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The Lawrence school board will soon begin seeking an applicant to fill a vacant seat following a board member’s recent resignation.

During a special meeting on Wednesday, the board voted unanimously to accept former board member Kay Emerson’s resignation as well as a timeline and process for selecting someone to fill her seat. Emerson announced on Friday, May 26 via a Facebook post that she would be submitting her resignation from the board. She’s planning to move to another state, according to the district.


In line with past practice, the board will publish a notice of the vacancy along with an application, process and timeline for the board to appoint someone to fill Emerson’s unexpired term until January 2026. 

The application is scheduled to be released Tuesday, June 6 with a deadline of 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 13 to apply.

During a special meeting on Tuesday, June 20, board members will select applicants that will advance to interviews. After conducting interviews, the board during a meeting on Monday, June 26 will appoint the new board member. That person will be sworn in during the board’s regular meeting on Monday, July 10.

Below is the application the board approved during Wednesday’s special meeting:


The seven-member board went through the same process last year when another former resigned for a similar reason to Emerson. 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 applicants, Anne Costello, has filed to run for the 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 Wednesday evening, Cadue-Blackwood was the only incumbent who had filed for reelection. The filing deadline is noon Thursday.

Kimball offered her appreciation to Emerson, who was not present for the meeting but served on the board for about a year and a half of her four-year term.

“I would like to take just a moment to publicly thank Kay Emerson for her service on the board,” Kimball said. “Serving on the Board of Education is an extensive time commitment, and it takes a lot of preparation and dedication to do this work, and I appreciate the time that she put into her public service on behalf of our district and our students.”

Superintendent Anthony Lewis added similar sentiments following the motion to approve Emerson’s resignation.

“I also want to send my gratitude to board member Kay Emerson for her tireless efforts – her many hours preparing for meetings, many hours in this board room working on behalf of Lawrence Public Schools’ scholars, families and the community members,” Lewis said. “And so to Kay and on your future endeavors, we wish you nothing but the best and thank you so much for your service to Lawrence Public Schools.”

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Maya Hodison (she/her), equity reporter, can be reached at mhodison (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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