School Board plans to pick District 1 appointee next week

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~ PVN staff report

LURAY, Oct. 27 — After a long process of interviews with candidates, a public hearing to receive input from citizens, and a closed session to discuss filling the vacancy…the Page County School Board still had to delay a decision on filling the vacancy left in the District 1 seat by the Sept. 22 passing of Tommy Lansberry.

Board members stated Thursday night that the law mandates that they must wait seven days after receiving public comment before making a final decision.

“It’s encouraging to see so many people come out,” School Board Chair Megan Gordon said of the six candidates vying for the appointment. Ten speakers addressed the school board during Thursday’s public hearing — nine supported Taylor Alger for the District 1 seat, while one spoke in favor of Heather Embrey. The full list of eligible candidates includes:

  • Taylor Alger
  • Jennifer Carter
  • Heather Embrey
  • Michael Montgomery
  • Billy Starkey
  • Pam Walker

Under Virginia Code, the school board must fill the District 1 seat with an interim appointee by Monday, Nov. 7. The appointee will serve through Dec. 31, 2023.

A special election will be held next November to fill the District 1 seat for the remainder of the term through Dec. 31, 2025. The official process requires the school system to petition the Page County Circuit Court to order a Writ of Special Election for Nov. 7, 2023 balloting to fill the remainder of the four-year term.

After hearing comments at the public hearing and deliberating in closed session, the school board reconvened Thursday night’s meeting and stated that while a decision must be delayed seven days, they would be making a decision “next week.” No specific date or time was given for a special meeting. Currently, there is no meeting scheduled for the school board next week.

Lansberry was less than nine months into his second term when he passed at age 76 after an extended battle with an inoperable brain tumor. The School Board publicly announced Lansberry’s health issues in June after a noticeable, extended absence.

For further information or questions, call the PCPS Central Office at (540) 743-6533

or visit https://www.pagecounty.k12.va.us/

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