The Temple Independent School District board of trustees accepted the resignation of board Vice President Joelle Bedwell during Monday’s meeting and named the Meridith-Dunbar gymnasium in honor of a groundbreaking former coach, Lester Moore.
School board President Steve Wright said Bedwell sent a letter to TISD on Jan. 27 notifying board members and administrators that she was no longer residing in District 6, and because she no longer met residency requirements, offered her resignation.
Bedwell was elected to the board in May 2010 and re-elected in May 2013.
Board members had differing opinions on whether Bedwell’s replacement should be elected or appointed.
The board will further discuss the vacancy, along with other items, at a special meeting at 8 a.m. Friday at Temple Bible Church, 3205 Oakview Drive.
Board member Jennifer Davis was outspoken in her opinion that because of the length of the term remaining for District 6 (two years), the position should be filled by election.
“I believe that since more than half the term is left, there needs to be an election,” Davis said.
Board member Dan Posey asked how that would work with the timing of the upcoming election, scheduled for May 10.
TISD Superintendent Robin Battershell said if board members decide to fill District 6 by election, that vacancy would be filled at the same time as the District 2 and 7 members (occupied by Dorothy Powell and Davis) were elected.
Filing to run for the District 6 post would open as soon as an election is called for, with a decreased filing time for those candidates that would end Feb. 28, the same day filing ends for District 2 and 7 candidates.
Board member Susan Long asked what would happen if no one filed for the District 6 vacancy.
“Then you would have the opportunity to appoint someone,” Battershell said, noting that the board could choose to do that anyway.
“I’ve talked to people interested (in filling the District 6 spot), but they aren’t interested in running an election,” Long said.
The decreased filing period was what Posey said was his biggest concern.
“My greatest concern is that with more than half of the term left, and being an old history teacher, I like the election process,” Davis said.
Posey made a motion to table a decision until more discussion at Friday’s meeting, and Powell seconded the motion. The board unanimously approved that suggestion.
Coach Moore honored
With several supporters in attendance, including his son Lester Moore Jr., trustees voted to name the gymnasium at Meridith-Dunbar Early Childhood Academy in honor of former Temple High School and Dunbar High School coach Lester Moore Sr.
The proposal was made by the East Temple Black Heritage Society and was unanimously endorsed by the school board.
“This is an opportunity to recognize a great African-American educator, and one of the first African-American coaches to coach at a desegregated high school,” said Scott Moger, assistant superintendent for student services.
Moore’s basketball teams won 252 games and lost 54, advanced to the playoffs 8 of the 11 years he coached and won a state championship in 1958 “to fortify his legacy.”
Among the Temple residents related to Moore are school board member Dorothy Powell and Wheatley Alternative Education Center Principal Carl Pleasant.