Special election to determine new school board member


The Lamar County School District will hold a special election April 26 for the District C position so that the Lumberton schools – which will become part of the Lamar County district – will have representation after the July 1 voluntary consolidation.

The seat is held by Jeremy Chance, who was elected board president at the last meeting on Thursday, Jan. 18. Other board members are secretary Deborah Pierce of District A, vice president Buddy Morris of District E, Carolyn Adams of District B and newly-chosen Tony Ingram of District D.

Superintendent Tess Smith had called a meeting Wednesday morning to vote on the resolution setting the special election. Smith is attending the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents Winter Conference in Jackson this week.

School district lines were redrawn late last year to provide for the Lumberton schools to be included in the Lamar County School District.

The voluntary consolidation of the Lumberton and Lamar County school districts received the unanimous approval of the Mississippi Board of Education at its meeting last year.

The Lumberton and Lamar County school superintendents both received the go-ahead on the state’s first voluntary consolidation plan from state education leaders. Members of the Commission on Administrative Consolidation of Lumberton School District received approval from state Senate Education Committee Chairman Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, after the commission approved a Lamar County proposal to voluntarily consolidate with Lumberton School District.

The qualifying period for District C shall be not more than 90 days and not less than 60 days before the election. All candidates must be a bona fide resident and qualified elector of 

District C and meet all qualifying requirements prescribed by law to serve as a school board member.

A petition of nomination signed by not less than 50 qualified electors residing within District C shall be required. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes cast shall be declared elected and shall be seated July 1, 2018.

The District C board member shall serve a term from July 1, 2018 to Dec. 31, 2024.

Tollison wrote Senate Bill 2500 of the 2016 Legislature, which became law on July 1, 2016, eliminating the Lumberton School District not later than July 1, 2019, and dividing the students between the Lamar County Board of Education and the Poplarville School District according to the county line.