Clarke County Board of Education member John Knox won’t run for re-election this year, he recently announced.
The UGA geography professor posted a message on his Facebook page Dec. 21 stating that his growing academic duties do not allow him enough time to devote to serving on the school board.
After many months of careful thought and consideration, I will not pursue re-election to the Clarke County Board of Education.
The primary reason for my decision is that I will no longer be able to perform to my satisfaction the duties of teaching, research and service as a professor at the University of Georgia while also serving to the best of my abilities the students of the Clarke County School District.
The undergraduate atmospheric sciences major that I oversee as undergraduate coordinator and academic advisor at UGA has grown in size by over 100% during the past two years. This rapidly growing number of students and advisees will require my full attention in order to maximize their educational experiences and career opportunities.
As Dr. Thomas Alsbury states in Chapter 7 (pp. 90-91) of the book “Improving School Board Effectiveness: A Balanced Governance Approach,” a school board that is stable is one that is “operating effectively, efficiently, and collaboratively.” “Stabilizing turnover,” i.e. change in board membership that leads to stability, can result from “a board member… experiencing work or personal obligations that no longer allow the time needed to serve.” The reason for my decision not to pursue re-election fits this description of positive change.
In addition, as I have indicated to my UGA program director and others, I intend to spend the next five years working hard to promote diversity and inclusion in our program, and at UGA, and in my discipline. I feel my allyship is best used in this capacity.
Knox was elected in 2016 to represent District 8, on the Eastside, defeating lawyer Kamau Hull 435 votes to 391.
Hull has said he will seek the District 8 seat on the Athens-Clarke County Commission being vacated by Andy Herod next year, along with retired Athens Tech administrator Carol Myers and couples therapist Andrea Farnham.
Candidates for the seat will qualify in March, and local nonpartisan elections will be held May 19.
My thanks to the residents of Clarke County, and in particular to the citizens of District 8, for this opportunity to give back to our community. I look forward to working with Dr. Thomas and my fellow Board members in 2020.
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