GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) – Southern Guilford High School teacher Michael Logan will return to his classroom on Monday and wait a little longer to learn if he will join on the Guilford County Board of Education.
The board in its work session Thursday night tabled a vote – their third – on whether to seat Logan, who was nominated by members of the Guilford County Republican Party from District 3 to fill out the term Patrick Tillman vacated in November, when he was elected to the Guilford County Board of Commissioners.
District 2 representative Crissy Pratt moved that the board delay the vote until its meeting on Feb. 7. That passed without dissent.
“I made the motion to table the vote so that it could be addressed at a full board meeting rather than a work session,” Pratt said in an email responding to questions from WGHP.
Neither Board Chair Deena Hayes nor board attorney Jill Wilson responded immediately to an email from WGHP seeking comment about the change in plans.
Logan, who teaches auto mechanics at Southern Guilford, had resigned from his position pending appointment to the board. A new semester starts on Monday.
Logan attended the meeting and told WGHP in an email that he wasn’t aware the board would table the vote but that he is “comfortable with the reasoning.” He said overall he is “comfortable with the process and voting on the process” and that he expects to be seated with the Guilford GOP’s backing.
“We have followed the statute, and it is clear,” he said. “It is my hope that the board will seat me without creating an undue burden on taxpayers. The motto of GCS is ‘Better together.’”
Logan, who has said he will be a candidate for the seat when it comes up for election in 2024, twice has been refused the position in resounding votes by the board, first 5-2 late last year and then in a 6-2 vote on Jan. 10.
Democrats Hayes (board chair, District 8), Bettye Jenkins (vice chair, District 7), T. Dianne Bellamy-Small (District 1), Deborah Napper (District 5), Khem Irby (District 6) and Alan Sherouse (at-large) have voted against Logan’s nomination, and Republicans Pratt and Linda Welborn (District 4) have supported him. Bellamy-Small was absent for the first vote.
The GOP was responsible for nominating its candidate from the district – Logan was chosen from two suggestions, Guilford County GOP Chair David Gleeson has said – and Wilson has indicated that the appointment of the person to fill the seat must be approved by a majority of the existing board.
Board members who opposed Logan, long an active commentator at school board meetings, cited the fact that he was a teacher or that he had made derogatory posts about board members on social media. He has been called “divisive.”
Welborn told the News & Record in Greensboro that she thought commenters were “nitpicking.” “The person I have seen is nothing but dedicated to his students,” she told the newspaper.
Logan has challenged the board’s performance and has aligned himself with a now-defunct support group called “Take Back Our Schools,” which said on its website that it is part of a “movement taking place” nationally and shared the sort of controversial claims that have turned school board meetings elsewhere into shouting matches and even death threats.
Gleeson has said legal action possibly would be taken if the school board didn’t seat the Republicans’ nominee, and he said after the most recent rejection that “we don’t think the board has the legal authority to do what they have done.”
There is no question that Logan continues to hold his teaching position. “His letter of resignation was based on being seated on the board,” GCS spokesperson Gabby Brown told WGHP.