The Calhoun County Board of Education on Tuesday tapped a retired teacher to fill a vacancy on the board for the next six months, officials said.
David Gilmore, the board vice president, said members met for a 7 a.m. special-called meeting to choose a candidate from a list of seven applicants to replace board member Dale Harbin. Harbin, during last month’s meeting, resigned from his position as he’d moved out of the district to Oxford.
“We went into executive session to discuss the things you can discuss, came out and made a recommendation for his replacement and voted unanimously for Kenneth Tidwell,” Gilmore said.
Gilmore said several current and past candidates for the board applied for the position, but its members felt it was best to go with Tidwell, who taught at Alexandria High School.
“We kind of felt like he was the fellow who would best fit the bill,” Gilmore said. “We felt better choosing someone who hadn’t served or is not running now. If we picked one who was running, it kind of seemed unfair to everyone else.”
Gilmore said the process to replace Harbin was quick.
“We had 30 days to fill the position before the state superintendent could appoint someone,” he said. “So as soon as Dale resigned, we advertised for a few days then the board members got the packets of applicants on the fourth and we met this morning to make our decision.”
Board members will swear Tidwell in at the next meeting on Thursday, Gilmore said.
“About 15 minutes before the meeting we’ll swear him in so then he can take his place and be an active member at the meeting,” he said.
Efforts to reach Tidwell Tuesday were unsuccessful.
Gilmore described Tidwell as being well liked.
“He’s well known, well liked in the communities,” the board member said. “He’ll be a good fit for the last 6 months of Dale’s term.”
Calhoun County Schools Superintendent Joe Dyar also supported the board’s decision.
“I believe Mr. Tidwell will do a fantastic job,” he said. “He’s very level-headed, smart, objective and has been an ultra-successful teacher. We look forward to working with him in Calhoun County these next several months.”