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Christina seeking applicants for vacant school board seat

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The Christina School District is seeking applicants for a vacant position on the school board.

The vacancy was caused by the abrupt resignation of Elizabeth Paige after six years on the board.

During a February board meeting, Paige expressed frustration with the board.

“It is clear to me that whether I serve another day or another year, my ability to make positive change in the district is nearly non-existent,” Paige said. “I can justify taking time from family, friends, and my career to serve on a board that serves students. Serving on this board no longer serves students.”

Paige said she has been “vilified” for several of the votes she has taken.

“My attempts to bring science, evidence and research into conversations about district initiatives have been met with defensiveness and closed minds,” she said. “I have come under fire for being requiring, asking questions and pressing when answers aren’t satisfactory. Until this board understands and decides that asking tough questions and requiring honest answers is the good governance our community elected most of us to perform, nothing will change, no matter who sits in these chairs.”

Though Paige announced her resignation in February, it didn’t become official until after the March filing deadline for this spring’s school board election. Therefore, her replacement will be selected by the board rather than by the voters.

The school board will conduct interviews with applicants and select the new board member during a public session of a future board meeting.

The chosen applicant will serve until the May 2021 election, when Paige’s term would have ended. Then voters will choose someone to serve a full five-year term.

A similar process played out last fall when the board appointed Claire O’Neal to fill an earlier vacancy.

Community members interested in Paige’s seat have until April 6 to apply for a vacant position.

Those interested should send an application letter and resume to Kerry McGinnis, Drew Educational Support Center, 600 N. Lombard St., Wilmington, DE, 19801.

Applicants must live in nominating district F, which covers an area south of Newark and parts of Bear.

Applicants must also be a citizen of the United States and Delaware, be 18 or older, cannot be a paid employee of the district and must never have been convicted of embezzlement.

Meanwhile, two board seats are up for grabs in the regular school board election, which has been pushed back to June 16 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In District A, Alethea Smith-Tucker is challenging longtime board member George Evans. In District D, Claire O’Neal is seeking to retain the seat to which she was appointed. Challenging her is Naveed Baqir and John Young.

Young previously held the seat but was defeated last year by Katie Hegedus, who kept her name on the ballot after announcing that she wouldn’t be able to serve due to family health issues.

Candidates must live within the specific nominating district, but every voting-age resident of Christina can vote in both races.

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