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Council begins school board selection process

The Selma City Council trimmed list of 10 candidates in half for an opening on the Selma City Board of Education.

The top five chosen during a meeting at City Hall on Tuesday includes Mina Roussell, Roderick V. West, Johnny Moss III, Margaret H. Christian and William Powell.

The council will make a final decision when it meets Dec. 30.

The council asked the candidates what issues Selma City Schools faced, why they deserved the position and how they would handle proration.

Mina Roussell, who works in the Dallas County Human Resources Department’s Child Unit, said keeping parents involved with their students and managing resources is crucial to Selma City Schools’ success. Roussell said parents seem to forget it is important to remain involved with their children throughout their academic careers.

“I think it’s not fair to sit on the sidelines and complain,” she said. “I’m an advocate for the school system. I believe in it.”

Roderick V. West, a teacher at Albert Turner Elementary School in Marion, said proration is the biggest issue the board will face. West said implementing 30 minutes of reading time into each class period is an inexpensive way to ensure Selma City Schools produce quality students.

Johnny Moss III, marketing director at Wallace State Community College, said his background makes him an idea candidate. Moss has worked at high schools and college.

“I’ve seen the school system from all levels,” Moss said.

Moss said the board should help students achieve, not set them up for failure.

“Your first role is to make sure student achievement is number one,” he said.

Margaret H. Christian has more than 30 years of experience in education. She has spent most of those years working in adult education with students who might have fallen through the cracks if it were not for programs like the one offered at Wallace State.

“I don’t think there’s ever been a day when I said, ‘I hate my job,’” she said.

William Powell, a guidance counselor at Keith School, said the board must put children first while tightening the budget. Powell, also a small business owner, said he could bring a business approach to the board that would be crucial during proration.

“I just come wanting to serve the student,” he said.

The council also interviewed:

Teresa Baker Kelly, a former English teacher

Malvina W. Harrison, an active parent in the Selma City School system

James L. A. Parker, a former teacher in Syracuse, N.Y.

Carolyn C. Bates, an after school program teacher

The Rev. Ocie L. Acoff, a probation officer for more than 20 years