Enid Public Schools Board of Education on Monday accepted the resignation of board member and former president Ernie Currier, opening a vacancy that must be filled within 60 days.

Currier, a former Enid mayor and Citizen of the Year, resigned his position as senior vice president of commercial lending at Security National Bank amid a police investigation Sept. 5. Enid Police Department has not commented on the nature of that ongoing investigation.

On Sept. 7, Amber Graham Fitzgerald, EPS executive director of human resources and communications, said the district was aware of the allegations against Currier, but added, “Although the matter is still under investigation, we know the concerns are not related to school business or his service as a board of education member.”

Fitzgerald told the News & Eagle on Friday EPS had received a resignation from Currier. In his Sept. 13 resignation letter, which EPS provided to the News & Eagle, Currier thanked the board members, but made no mention of a reason for his resignation.

"Because of each of you, your continued dedication and service, the staff, faculty, and administration of EPS, this school system has a great foundation and will continue to thrive," Currier wrote

The board declared the Office No. 3 seat vacant Monday and will begin a search and appointment process for a new board member. EPS Superintendent Darrell Floyd told board members by statute they have 60 days to fill the vacant seat.

Board member Willa Jo Fowler encouraged anyone with an interest in public service who lives within the Office No. 3 boundaries to contact a board member or the district to inquire about filling the vacancy.

"If someone is even thinking about it, the earlier they come forward the better," Fowler said. 

"If you're even thinking about it and live within that area please at least visit with us about it," she said.

In order to be eligible to fill the vacant seat a person must have resided within the seat district for at least six months. The approximate boundaries of the Office No. 3 district begin at the south edge of Enid on U.S. 81, then angle north-northeast to intersect Randolph near 4th, then east to 30th and south to the city's south boundary.

Other requirements to fill a school board seat are that a candidate must hold at least a high school diploma or certificate of high school equivalency; must not have been convicted of or pleaded no contest to a felony; and must not be an employee of the school district or be related within the second degree by blood or marriage to a member of the school board or any district employee.

In other business, the board received an update from MA+ Architects and reviewed plans for a groundbreaking ceremony for the planned $23.4 competition gymnasium and fine arts center.

The $13.7 million competition gymnasium and $9.7 million fine arts center are the largest projects funded by $92.8 million in bond issues approved last February by district voters for improvements, renovations, transportation upgrades and new construction.

An EPS construction management schedule provided at the meeting sets Sept. 29 as the deadline to complete drawings for the gymnasium and fine arts center.

Bids for the center are scheduled to be advertised on Oct. 11, with a bid opening on Nov. 1. Parking lot bids are scheduled to be advertised on Sept. 21 and opened on Oct. 17.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Nov. 15.

The board also hired seven certified staff for teaching positions for this academic year:

• Certified temporary retiree contracts: Barbara Banta, Title I reading and mathematics; Donna Bunch, girls’ athletic director; Terri Galer, special education; Charlotte Lieser, Title I reading; Joan McIntyre, director of health services; and oy Minton, counselor.

• Certified temporary contract, first year: Katherine Byrd, English.

The board was notified of three certified staff resignations: Allison Goar, English; Madison Gibson, elementary; and Brian Norton, JROTC.

EPS Chief Financial Officer Karl White also formally announced his planned retirement. White’s retirement is scheduled to be effective June 30, 2018, the last day of the current fiscal year.

The EPS Board of Education is scheduled for its next regular meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 16.

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