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Michael King joins Clayton BOE today

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Board of Education will gain a new member at tonight's work session, when attorney Michael King is sworn in as the new District 4 representative.

The swearing-in will take place before the meeting's executive session begins at 6:30 p.m., in the Clayton County Performing Arts Center, 2530 Mt. Zion Parkway, Jonesboro.

King won the seat by defeating teacher, Milton Mack, in an Aug. 5 run-off special election. He replaces former Chairperson Ericka Davis, and will serve the remaining two and a half years of her unexpired term.

"I look forward to serving on a functional school board and working with the team to resolve some of the issues facing the district," said King on Friday. "The main issue is going to be the accreditation, but, hopefully, that should be resolved soon."

King has been practicing law in Clayton County for 18 years, and organizes an annual Legal Spelling Bee designed to get elementary- and middle-school-age children interested in the law.

He has a master's degrees in physical education from Florida State University, and a law degree from the Atlanta Law School. He has taught at the elementary, secondary and college levels in Florida and Georgia during the 1970's and 1980's.

Who is out? Who is in?

King is just the latest participant in what has become a revolving door of board members over the last five and a half months. Since March, the school has lost five members, and only three of their replacements have been selected. As of tonight, only seven of the board's nine seats will be occupied.

The changes to the board's membership, in order of when the vacancy occurred, include:

· District 8: Norreese Haynes was removed from office by his colleagues on March 3. Alieka Anderson won a special election July 15, to replace him, and she was sworn in on July 19.

· District 4: Former Chairperson Davis resigned on April 11. King will replace her tonight.

· District 6: Eddie White, who succeeded Davis as chairman, resigned on April 28. A special election is set for Sept. 16, to determine his replacement. Mary Baker and Marcela Bodkin are candidates for the seat.

· District 7: David Ashe, the former District 7 representative, resigned on July 16. Trinia Garrett won the primary race to replace him, earning a four-year term beginning on Jan. 1, 2009. The board appointed her on July 19 to serve the remainder of Ashe's term.

· District 5: Rod Johnson, the former District 5 representative, resigned on Aug. 12. The board will vote to formally accept his resignation, and declare his seat vacant at tonight's work session. The board will appoint someone at a later date to serve the remainder of Johnson's term.

What else is on the agenda?

The agenda for the meeting also includes the presentations of the monthly purchasing, construction, personnel changes, financial and Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) III reports. Contracts with WORKTEC, and the Gude Management Group for the Geographic Information System will be voted on by the board.

Corrective Superintendent John Thompson will give the board, and public, updates on the school system and accreditation. Officials from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) are scheduled to announce before the end of the week whether the school system will retain its accreditation.

Thompson is also scheduled to give an "ethics report" during the work session. He said he will make some recommendations to the board concerning compensation for members of the board's newly created ethics commission, and setting up a time for a "meet and greet" for the commission members and the board. The board is not scheduled to vote on this report.

"We want to make sure we meet our obligations to the commission," Thompson said.