The Duncan Public School Board is beginning a search for a new school board member to fill the vacancy left by Danny McCall, and the deadline to apply is June 1.

McCall ran unopposed for the Office 1 seat and was elected to a five-year term just three months ago.

He resigned last week after discovering he had inadvertently violated the state’s nepotism policy because a relative works in the district’s food service department.

“We are really sad to be losing him,” stated Dr. Sherry Labyer, Duncan Public Schools superintendent. “Danny had the potential to be a great board member. In the short time he worked with us, it was obvious he always had the kids’ best interest at heart.”

Labyer said the situation was “no one’s fault,” and that specifics regarding Oklahoma State Statute 70-5-113 had been omitted from the initial informational packet McCall had received about the position.

She said any relative, even an in-law, working for the school district disqualifies a candidate from serving on the board.

It was after his second regular board meeting, while attending a required class for new school board members statewide, that McCall realized he had run afoul of the statute.

“This is really an unfortunate circumstance,” said McCall. “I was really enjoying being on the board, and I think I would have had a lot to offer.

“Hopefully, in the future, I will be able to find a way to serve again.”

The board will now seek a temporary replacement to serve until the next school board election in February of 2007, said Labyer.

At that time, the appointee will have the opportunity to run for the elected office, along with any other candidates who apply, for a four-year term that fill out the remainder of McCall’s five-year stint.

To be eligible to be on the Duncan Public Schools Board of Education, a candidate must:

n Live in the area defined by the office in question for at least six months;

n Be a registered voter at that address for at least six months;

n Have a high school diploma;

n Not be employed by or closely related to someone employed by the school district.

Sometime during the 15 months preceding or following their election, new school board members are also required to complete 12 hours of instruction regarding school finances, Oklahoma law and ethics, and the duties and responsibilities of district board of education members, as well as two hours of instruction about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

It was during one of the instructional classes that McCall discovered the problem, said Labyer.

“We’ll miss him,” she stated. “I think he was really enjoying the job.”

The application deadline for the school board seat is June 1, because the board hopes to select the new member at its regular meeting on June 6.

Applications are available at the county election board in the Stephens County Courthouse. Information is available on the Web site: www.duncanpublicschools.org; on DTV 10; or by contacting Sherry Taylor at the school district’s administration office.

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