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Three Candidates Apply for Clarke County School Board Seat


Harry Sims web.jpg

Former Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Harry Sims.

Former Athens-Clarke County Commissioner Harry Sims is among three applicants for the District 2 seat on the Clarke County Board of Education vacated by Vernon Payne.

East Broad Street resident Mary P. Bagby and Mulberry Street resident Frances Berry are the other two applicants for the open seat. Berry, a photographer, is a former president of the Federation of Neighborhoods and managed Commissioner Patrick Davenport’s campaign in 2018.

Sims, a retired teacher who lives on Cone Drive, served on the ACC Commission for 26 years before resigning last year to run unsuccessfully for mayor.

Bagby, a former nurse and paralegal, was featured last year on activist Irami Osei-Frimpong’s “Sitting With Athens’ Elders” YouTube series, where she recounted her experiences growing up in segregated Athens. “I feel that education has failed since integration, because there are people doing things to undermine and uneducate black children,” she said during that interview, where she also criticized UGA for not putting more back into the community.

The remaining eight school board members will interview the three candidates at a meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21 before choosing one to serve out the remainder of Payne’s term, which ends in January 2020. Payne resigned in December for health reasons.

The deadline to apply for the seat was Thursday, Feb. 14.