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McDonald steps down from Owen school board

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By Molly Haines

The Owen County Board of Education has a vacant seat after vice-chairman Brett McDonald recently resigned.
McDonald has served on the board of education for 12 years and represented Owen County’s second educational district including Gratz and Monterey.
McDonald’s resignation became official June 16.
McDonald cited a state law for the cause of his resignation to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
His son, Chad McDonald, recently began working for the board preparing computers for the upcoming school year.
“I brought it up to (Owen County School Superintendent Rob Stafford) and it was taken to (Owen County Board of Education Attorney Jim Crawford),” McDonald said. “(The law) basically said I couldn’t be on the school board and have my son working for the board.”
McDonald said after 12 years on the board, he was contemplating whether he was going to run for the position again.
“It was too much of an opportunity for my son for me to get in the way of that,” McDonald said. “Things have a way of working themselves out.”
Owen County School Superintendent Rob Stafford said in order to fill the vacancy, the board must now advertise the open seat for two consecutive weeks.
“It’s handled through the commissioner of education’s office,” Stafford said. “We advertise it and try to solicit interested people to fill out the information and submit it to the commissioner’s office.”
Stafford said the commissioner’s office has a person responsible for taking and reviewing the applications and then interviewing the candidates, as well as going through the process of selecting someone to complete the unfinished term.
The appointment will be effective until the general election in November.
“If you have a focus on kids and the success of the kids in our community, that’s absolutely number one,” Stafford said of prospective candidates. “By being a board member, you can have a positive impact that way.”
McDonald said he doubts he will ever vie for a position on the school board again, but that his name may be on a different ballot in the future.