School board elects new officers

Forms committee to address Gulf Shores split


During last week’s organizational meeting of the Baldwin County Board of Education, Fairhope’s Cecil Christenberry was elected as the new president of the BCBE.

As former president Shannon Cauley opened the floor for nominations, board members Angie Swiger and David Tarwater both began their nomination at the same time - Swiger nominating Christenberry and Tarwater nominating Cauley.

Since Tarwater yielded the floor to Swiger, the board voted first on Christenberry who received the majority of four votes needed to become board president from David Cox, Tony Myrick, JaNay Dawson and Swiger.

Christenberry said he was excited to take on the leadership role for the board.

“I’m honored and I’m thrilled with it,” Christenberry said. “I felt comfortable leaving the officers just as they were, but I’ll do whatever this board wants. We’ve got a lot of wonderful, positive things happening.”

Christenberry thanked Cauley for her years of service as board president in what had been an interesting time for the school system.

The board then took nominations for vice chairman, with Myrick nominating Cox and Tarwater again nominating Cauley.

In the vote for Cox, only Myrick voted in the affirmative, while in the vote for Cauley, Tarwater, Christenberry, Dawson and Swiger all voted aye.

It then came time to nominate committee chairmanships, which all remained the same from the previous year with the exception of Swiger being stripped of the chairmanship of the Communications committee, which was awarded to Cauley, and Christenberry taking over the Leadership committee from Cauley.

Later in the meeting, Christenberry suggested the board create an ad hoc committee to address the looming Gulf Shores city school system split.

“I think it’s important to have consistency, and I think Ms. Cauley has done an outstanding amount of work on this issue as our chairman, so I would like to have her chair this committee to help us with the negotiation process,” Christenberry said.

Christenberry suggested two other board members be on the committee as well, specifically the new Gulf Shores feeder pattern member that could replace Swiger if she is named as a member of the Gulf Shore city school board on Nov. 27.

Myrick questioned whether the law firm hired to help Baldwin County negotiate the split would want a board committee involved in the process, but Superintendent Eddie Tyler said he would welcome the help.

“I certainly think any form of help that can assist me during these negotiations I would appreciate,” Tyler said. “I would love the assistance.”

The board voted 4-2 to create the committee, with Swiger abstaining.