Effingham County Board of Education members hope to fill their vacant seat next month.
Board members at their meeting Wednesday approved accepting the resignation of 4th District member Mose Mock. Mock read a letter of resignation at the Jan. 22 meeting.
“I have a very heavy heart over losing Mr. Mock,” said school board Chairman Lamar Allen, who represents the 3rd District. “It’s a situation the board regrets, but we understand the circumstances.”
In his letter to the board, which also will be forward to the governor’s office and the state superintendent, Mock said the recent cancer diagnosis of his son Caleb compelled him to step down.
“I feel led to focus my undivided attention to helping him and our family as he battles lymphoma,” he wrote. “We are expecting with God’s help and so many wonderful prayers that he will be healed. It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the 4th District, and all the fine young people, parents and citizens of Effingham County. I have tremendous hope for our school system because of the dedicated work of our superintendent and board members and excellent staff.”
Since Mock’s seat is up for election this year, Allen pointed out the school board did not have to fill the seat before the election. Qualifying for the seat takes place in March, and the primary election will take place in May. School board seats are non-partisan.
“It’s a pretty quick turnaround,” said Superintendent Randy Shearouse. “That gives approximately a month for people who are interested to send something to the board.”
Shearouse, who read Mock’s resignation letter to the board, said the retired teacher hated resigning and didn’t want to let people down.
“He felt like he needed to spend more time with his son,” Shearouse said. “We certainly understand he needs to do that.”
The board will take resumes and letters of interest from those wishing to fill the rest of the term until March 5. Allen said they plan to name replacement at the March 20 meeting. Should the person appointed decide not to run for the seat, or run and not win, they would serve until Jan. 1.
Those interested in serving have to be residents of the 4th District for at least a year, be at least 21 years old and a U.S. citizen. The last time the school board had to replace a sitting member who stepped down, they required an affidavit stating they were qualified, Shearouse said.