Trustee resigns from Madison school board

Next-highest vote-getter is appointed as replacement

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published January 24, 2020


MADISON HEIGHTS — A trustee on the Madison District Public Schools Board of Education has resigned halfway through her term — and her replacement is the runner-up from the last election.

Amanda Locklear was one of four candidates who ran for one of two two-year terms in 2018. New to politics, she garnered the most support at nearly 36%. Her term was to end Dec. 31, 2020, but she sent an email to the board at the end of last year signaling her resignation.

Due to the holidays, Jan. 6 was the earliest meeting in which board members were available to accept Locklear’s resignation. Locklear did not respond for comment by press time.

“I thank Amanda for her time and for her contributions to the board,” said Mark Kimble, the president of the board. “I wish her and her family well.”

Seven candidates applied to be Locklear’s replacement. Of those seven, only five showed up to the board interviews Jan. 13. Of those five, one recused himself. The remaining four were interviewed by the board members.

In the end, Mark Holcomb was chosen to fill the vacancy. Holcomb was the runner-up in the 2018 election, when six candidates ran for three four-year terms. The three winners included newcomers Debra Ott at nearly 20%, Gloria Thompson at nearly 19% and Beth Scott at nearly 18%. Holcomb, also a newcomer, was the first runner-up at just over 16.5%.  

Since Holcomb is an appointee, he will be up for reelection at the earliest opportunity, which will be the general election this November. Kimble said his rationale for supporting Holcomb was Holcomb’s prior support from voters.

“It’s my intent to honor the wishes of the voters, as they do on the city level,” he said. “And that means going with the next-highest vote-getter from the last election.”

The board members have also been sworn into their positions for the new year. Kimble was reelected as board president; Thompson was reelected as treasurer. Ott, who was the board secretary in 2019, is now the vice president, a role previously held by Locklear. Barbara Kastle is the board secretary.

Cindy Holder, a former trustee who once served on the City Council, was one of the people who applied for the vacancy. She said that she was willing to serve if called upon, but that she also fully supports the selection of Holcomb.

“Mark Holcomb has continued to go to the meetings. He’s been staying current with what’s going on in the district. He’s very invested in the district’s future,” Holder said. “So I didn’t see any reason to not support the selection of him — especially given that he was the next-highest vote-getter in the election.”