Westville school board reorganizes after election

WESTVILLE — Two incumbents and a newcomer were seated this week.

Incumbents Michael Acord and Shawn Bennett retained their seats on the board in last month's elections, and newcomer LeAnn Gallion unseated six-year veteran board member David Parker. Acord, Bennett and Gallion were sworn into office by Westville school board President Bob Clifford.

Gallion, a supervisor at Cannon Cochran Management Services Inc., said she hoped to learn and help out where she could on the board.

Owens said he was glad to have a lot of stability among board members — some of whom have years of experience on the board — and that Gallion is a good addition to the board and will offer fresh perspectives.

During a reorganization of the board, Bennett became the new board president, Clifford the vice president, and Matt Smith the board secretary.

The reorganization reached a stalemate at one point — Smith was absent from the meeting, and board members were deadlocked in a 3-3 vote tie between Bennett and Clifford for board president. Superintendent Jim Owens said he was not authorized to break such a tie, and that the board must revote until the tie was broken. Both Bennett and Clifford said that the other candidate had experience leading the board and would do a good job in the future. Clifford eventually withdrew from consideration in the vote.

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