MAURY COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The deadline to qualify to run for an open seat on the Maury County School Board is just a few weeks away, but only one person has thrown his name in the hat so far.
Five of the school board positions are open, representing Districts 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10.
Incumbent Jim Pennings, who has held the District 4 seat for eight years, officially entered the race this week.
According to the Maury County Election Commission, two others have picked up petitions, one in District 2 and another in District 8.
Pennings, 75, said he was initially inspired to get involved because of a personal experience.
“Years ago I lost a daughter when she was 8 and a half, and I just love kids and if I can improve the education for this county and city, that’s why I’m here,” Pennings told News 2.
He believes the job of a school board member is very important.
“We hear from children after they have graduated and gone on to college and they have great careers and that’s the fulfilling part,” said Pennings.
He said it is surprising how many people he meets who don’t know what the school board is and he tells them if they’re going to complain about schools, then run for the school board and make a difference.
Pennings said he hopes good people will step up to lead.
Typically, the board meets twice a month.
Board members are paid $50 per regular and specially called meetings. Work sessions, committee meetings and all other meetings involving school board business pay $25.
School board members are elected on a non-partisan basis. To qualify, they must be residents and must show proof of graduation from high school or a G.E.D.
Members of the local legislative body or local government official are not eligible for election as a member of the Board of Education.
It’s not too late to get your name on the ballot; the deadline to file to run for a seat on the Maury County School Board is April 7 at 12 p.m.
If no one runs, the Maury County Commission will have to appoint members to fill the vacant school board seats.