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JCPS Board of Education Will Fill Vacant Seat, After Gies Resigns

Liz Schlemmer

One seat on the Jefferson County Board of Education will soon be up for grabs after Board member Benjamin Gies announced his resignation Monday.

The board will get to exercise a new right to select the next person to fill the seat, based on a recent change in state law. A law passed this spring shifts the decision to fill vacancies from the Kentucky Commissioner of Education to a majority vote by the school board. Any school board vacancy in the state announced after June 27 this year is subject to that change.

JCPS announced Monday that Gies resigned to take a new position as policy principal at Kentucky Youth Advocates. Gies told WFPL he believed it would be a conflict of interest to work for the non-profit organization while serving on the Board of Education.

“As a non-profit and non-partisan organization dedicated to ‘making Kentucky the best place in the nation to be a kid,’ the opportunity to achieve positive outcomes for all of Kentucky’s children is too great to pass up,” Gies wrote in his resignation letter.

The board is expected to vote to accept the resignation and declare a vacancy at its July 16 meeting. After that point, the board will have 60 days to receive applications and select a replacement. Anyone who is at least 24 years old, a citizen of Kentucky for at least three years, and registered to vote in District 4 is eligible to apply with a letter of intent.

Gies may have been the first school board member in Kentucky to resign after the new law took effect, according to the Kentucky School Boards Association.


Liz Schlemmer is WUNC's Education Policy Reporter, a fellowship position supported by the A.J. Fletcher Foundation. She has an M.A. from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Media & Journalism and a B.A. in history and anthropology from Indiana University.
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