GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – The Guilford County Board of Education on Tuesday night will consider – for the second time – a candidate to fill its open seat from District 3.
You may recall that on Dec. 13 the board rejected the nomination of teacher Michael Logan to fill the seat vacated when Republican Pat Tillman was elected to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners. Logan said on Thursday night that he plans to attend this meeting and to be seated by the board.
Logan was chosen by the members of the Guilford County GOP who live in District 3 as their candidate, per state statute. GCGOP Chair David Gleeson said legal action possibly would be taken if the school board didn’t seat their nominee.
That brings us to Tuesday’s meeting, the board’s first full session of the new year. A spokesperson for Guilford County Schools confirmed that the nomination of a candidate to fill the seat would be considered but said that name (or names) would have come from the Board of Elections.
Gleeson on Thursday said Republicans had “renominated Michael Logan for the board, and the board is supposed to reconsider on Jan. 10.”
But Guilford County Elections Director Charlie Collicutt said that his office was not involved in this process and wouldn’t be unless it was to confirm a person lived in the district or was affiliated with a particular party.
“Sorry, but I don’t know anything regarding Michael Logan or any other submission,” Collicutt said.
Logan late Thursday night told WGHP that he planned to be at the board meeting on Tuesday “with the expectation of being placed on the board.” He provided a copy of an email provided to the board and several other GCS staff members and a notarized letter of resignation at the board meeting Dec. 13.
“There was also a request to attend the ethics training and meetings provided for the newly elected board members Pickett and Sherouse on Dec 12th,” he said. “I have offered to help my students up till exams start as a visiting board member.”
WGHP also reached out via email to Jill Wilson, attorney for the school board – who said after the prior vote that the issue would be placed on the agenda for the next meeting – Deena Hayes, the chair of the school board.
The board had rejected the nomination of Logan, an automotive teacher at Southern Guilford High School, after Tillman was sworn in as a commissioner in a 5-2 vote along party lines.
Democrats Hayes (District 8), Bettye Jenkins (vice chair, District 7), Deborah Napper (District 5), Khem Irby (District 6) and new member Alan Sherouse (at-large) voted against Logan’s nomination, and Republicans Linda Welborn (District 4) and newcomer Crissy Pratt (District 2) voted approval. District 1 member T. Dianne Bellamy-Small, also a Democrat, was absent.
Reasons for rejection
One of the issues with Logan – and it was cited by Jenkins as the reason she did not vote for him – was that he had not resigned from his job at Southern Guilford, which is required by state law because the board approves all contracts and salaries.
“I understand Mr. Logan provided a letter to the school board that he would resign his [teaching] position if he were approved,” Gleeson told WGHP. Logan provided a copy to WGHP.
Logan had said when his candidacy first emerged that he wanted to finish the semester, which ends Jan. 27, and help “my students to prepare for state exams and certifications in January, since SGHS is a block school and this being an appointment, not an election.”
However, the issues may be as much political as simply about Logan’s teaching position. Logan has been an activist commentator at school board meetings, and Napper told the News & Record that she voted against Logan because he had made derogatory comments about board members on social media.
Logan last year called for more school security after a student was shot and killed at Mount Tabor High School in Forsyth Count. He asked the board to add more metal detectors and other precautions.
Hayes cited precedent on how the board had voted.
“In 2018, the majority voted to deny the Democratic candidate Winston McGregor who was selected to fill the seat vacated by Alan Duncan, until we recessed, and a board member changed their vote,” Hayes said last month. “About nine months ago, the BOCC [Board of County Commissioners] voted to approve the replacement for Carolyn Coleman [Frankie Jones]. This law has governed the process for the BOE and commissioners since it was enacted.”
‘See what arises’
Logan said in an email after his rejection that “the process is very simple. Pat Tillman was the District 3 school board member and a Republican. His replacement is decided by the executive committee of District 3.”
“District 3 is being denied representation on the school board and it is not right,” Gleeson said Thursday night. “Yes, I am vocal and will continue to be.”
Said Gleeson on Thursday about the upcoming meeting: “We will see what arises from that before we take another action.”