After a month of considering candidates, the Mount Airy Board of Education has picked a new member.
Kyle Leonard, who lives in the downtown area, takes the spot of Alisha Dancy-Brown, who has stepped down with less than a year left in her first term of office.
Dancy-Brown moved into her late mother’s house, which is outside of the school district, Dr. Kim Morrison, school superintendent, explained at the April 3 meeting. That made her ineligible to stay on the school board.
Dancy-Brown was elected to the board in 2014 as a write-in candidate to replace Mike Hiatt who chose not to run for another term. She said at the time that she was a supporter of Hiatt and didn’t file before the deadline because she hoped Hiatt would change his mind.
Those interested in joining the board had until April 29 to send an email to Wendy Carriker, school board chair. The school board had a closed session planned for the meeting in mid-April, where the members were expected to discuss the early candidates.
According to the school system’s website, the role of the new school board member would be:
• To provide vision and direction for the school system;
• To create policies in accordance with state law to establish standards, accountability and evaluation of essential operations of the school district;
• To prepare the budget for presentation to the county commissioners;
• To hire, support, and evaluate the superintendent;
• To perform judicial functions by conducting hearings as appropriate;
• And to advocate for the school district, staff, and especially the students in all interactions with other governmental entities and the public.
At Tuesday’s meeting at Mount Airy High School, the board voted on Leonard, who works for Lincoln Financial Group in Greensboro.
Leonard was well known in this area in high school as a standout golfer for West Stokes, earning all-conference status twice (2007, 2008). He went on to play golf for Wingate University while working on his bachelor’s degree.
While working for Lincoln Financial, Leonard has recently graduated from Liberty University with a Masters in Business Administration.
Leonard said Wednesday that he still has a couple of more classes to take before he is completely finished.
He and his wife, Mary Alice, are the parents of two boys; the oldest is finishing kindergarten at Tharrington Primary School and is a part of the DLI (dual-language immersion) program.
“Kyle has always been interested in community and education,” said Mary Alice. “Being on the school board will allow him to be a part of both. He looks forward to serving his community and doing what is best for our children to educate and prepare them for productive and meaningful futures.”
“What appeals to me is being able to help out in the community,” Leonard said.
Because he only turns 28 next week and that his kids are just starting school, Kyle believes he can bring a different perspective to the board and hopefully allow Mount Airy City Schools to provide the best opportunities for kids.
He said that he does plan to file for office this July so that he can run for a four-year term in the November election.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.