School board seeks to fill Powhatan seat

The Virginia Gazette
Powhatan seat open to applicants

Registered voters in Williamsburg-James City County School's Powhatan district who are interested in joining the board can apply this month, school officials said this week.

The seat is being vacated Jan. 15 by Joe Fuentes, the first and only Hispanic to serve on the board that sets policy for the 15 schools that make up the division for students in Williamsburg and James City County.

Fuentes cited family and work obligations as the reason for his exit. His term wasn't slated to expire until Dec. 2017.

Board chairman Jim Kelly said the division will begin to advertise the position locally on Jan. 16, and accept applications until Jan. 27.

After reviewing the applications, the board will host a public hearing on the seat and applicants on Feb. 2, Kelly said.

"Anyone who wants to come in and talk about the seat can do it then," the board chairman said. Kelly was elected to another term as school board chairman Tuesday night.

In the days after the hearing, the board will conduct interview with prospective school board members, and would like to vote on a new member in February, Kelly said.

According to the James City County registrar's office, the board can use this process to appoint a board member to the Powhatan seat to fill the slot until voters can pick a candidate in November's election.

If the board can't reach a unanimous decision on the appointment, a Williamsburg-James City County Judge may appoint a person to the seat.

The appointee would be the fifth new member to the board this year. In November, voters elected Holly Taylor, Sandra Young and James Beers to board. Julie Hummel was appointed to it by Williamsburg City Council in December, which is also when Fuentes announced his resignation.

Reach Canty at (757) 345-2341.

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