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Filing for school boards in Arkansas to begin

3 North Pulaski seats up for May vote by Cynthia Howell | February 22, 2021 at 7:04 a.m.
Diesel mechanic Jesse Nix positions a lift while working on a Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District bus in this June 2016 file photo.

Today at noon marks the beginning of the one-week candidate filing period for people who are running for election in May to their local school boards in Arkansas.

In Pulaski County, only the Jacksonville/North Pulaski School District holds its annual school election in the spring.

This year the election day will be May 18.

People who want to be candidates for their boards are required to submit a petition of 20 or more signatures from qualified electors, a political practices pledge and an affidavit of eligibility with the local county clerk.

The school board filing period runs through March 1, ending at noon.

In Jacksonville, three of the board's seven seats are open for election this year. Those seats represent the district's Zones 1, 3 and 4.

Jim Moore, 74, who holds the Zone 3 seat, said this week he will file as a candidate for reelection from his zone.

Richard Moss, 49, who was appointed to the Zone 1 board seat, and LaConda Watson, 50, who holds the Zone 4 seat on the School Board, did not respond to email messages last week about their interest in running for the board for the nearly 4,000-student district.

Moore was first elected to the Jacksonville board in September 2015 as part of a new board for a newly created school system that was carved out of the Pulaski County Special School District.

All seven members were elected at that time. The members then drew for their initial terms of two, three or four years. Moore and Watson drew the two-year terms. Both Moore and Watson were reelected in 2017 to four-year, unpaid terms that are now expiring.

Moore spent 26 years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring as a chief master sergeant. He has college degree in human resource management and in social psychology.

He is employed as president and chief executive officer of the Stonewall Homeowners Association and is also a member of the Jacksonville Planning Commission. He has worked as a youth pastor and youth Sunday School teacher.

Moore and his wife, Ivis, have been married 55 years and have two sons -- a registered nurse and a Methodist pastor -- and two granddaughters.

Watson is the mother of four and a grandmother. She recently left the position of chief executive officer of the Jacksonville Boys and Girls Club to work in the administration of Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Moss was appointed in March 2020 to his School Board seat to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Marcia Dornblaser. He must win election to the seat to continue to continue to fulfill the term that expires in 2023. In 2014-15, Moss was a member of the state-appointed interim School Board for the new district.

Moss is employed by University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College as director of the STEM Success program, according to his biography on the Jacksonville district's website.

Arkansas law gives school districts the choice of holding their regular annual school board elections in the spring or early November.

The spring election for school board membership are to be held at the same time as primary elections -- if there is a primary election in a year -- or at the same time as the November general election -- if there is a general election in a year. Primary and general elections typically occur in even-numbered years.

CORRECTION: May 18 is the date for spring school board elections in Arkansas this year. A previous version of this article contained the wrong date.

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