Lexington, Ky. – The Fayette County Board of Education on Thursday elected vice chair Melissa Bacon as its new chair and member Amanda Ferguson as vice chair. Thursday was the board’s first meeting since the passing of longtime chairman John Price on Feb. 23.
“I’m going to look at the way John conducted himself as a model of how to perform in this role,” Bacon said upon her selection as chair.
Bacon, who studied English at the University of Kentucky, was appointed to the board in 2006 and elected in 2007, 2008, and 2012. She represents District 1, which encompasses portions of west Fayette County, between Leestown Road and Harrodsburg Road from inside New Circle to the county line. District 1 also includes portions just inside Man o’ War out to the county line between Harrodsburg and Nicholasville and in rural Fayette County between Leestown and Georgetown roads. Bacon’s term expires in December, and she has said she intends to run for re-election.
Ferguson, a full-time mom with psychology degrees from the University of Kentucky and Vanderbilt University, was elected to the board in 2006, 2010, and 2014. She has two years remaining in her term representing District 4, which includes areas south of Broadway, out past New Circle Road generally between Nicholasville Road and Richmond Road.
“High performing school districts are led by peak performing boards and the residents of Fayette County are blessed to have public servants of this caliber around the board table,” said Fayette County Public Schools Superintendent Manny Caulk. “John Price was a wonderful leader and we will miss him deeply, but I know that this board will continue his legacy of selfless leadership focused on all students.”
Price had represented District 3, which encompasses eastern Fayette County between Winchester and Richmond Road out to the county line, since 2003. District 3 also includes areas outside Man o’ War Boulevard between Richmond and Tates Creek Roads. His current term ran through the end of 2016.
Under state law, Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt has 90 days to appoint someone to fill Price’s spot through December. The next four-year term will be filled in the November general election.
On March 14 and 21, the Board will advertise for qualified applicants for the vacancy by running notices in the Lexington Herald-Leader and on the school district website with instructions for those interested in applying for the seat. The postmark deadline for applications will be March 25.
After receiving the applications and verifying qualifications, the Kentucky Department of Education will send a letter to the Superintendent with a list of all qualified candidates. A committee selected by the Commissioner will then interview all qualified candidates and make a recommendation to the Commissioner, who will make the final determination.
To be qualified for the office, an applicant must be at least 24 years old, a voter in the school district, a Kentucky resident for three years, and a high school graduate or GED recipient. An applicant can’t hold a state office or be a member of a board that has the ability to tax, and can’t hold a civil or political office. The applicant cannot be directly or indirectly involved in the sale to the board of anything, including services, paid for with school funds. Applicants also cannot have been removed from a school board and cannot have immediate family members employed by the school district.