Selma decides first elected school board

Published 1:00 am Wednesday, December 9, 2009

SELMA — The newly elected district representatives for the Selma City School Board are Holland Powell for District 1, Brenda Randolph-Obomanu for District 2, Frank Chestnut, Jr. for District 3 and Udo Ufomadu for District 4.

“It feels really great to be elected,” Randolph-Obomanu said. “I have a passion for educating children. I’m just excited about this opportunity to work in Selma.”

Randolph-Obomanu plans to first work on lowering the dropout rate through program that will target at-risk students.

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“We have to work on the drop-out rate,” Randolph-Obomanu said. “We’ve got to find out a way to decrease that number.”

With only five members on the board now, “every person’s input is critical,” Powell said.

He believes that all board members need to form a good team, define their common goals and how they all want the school board to function.

“We need to focus on every penny and make sure it’s all going to the classrooms,” Powell said.

With the school system under proration, absolute transparency is important, Powell said. He believes the system has a good superintendent and now has a good team of district members in place.

“The people have spoken,” Powell said. “Now let’s all get about doing the good work.”

A total of 3,374 people turned out to the polls for this election.

Powell had 669 votes to the 393 of Roderick West, Brenda Randolph-Obomanu had 454 votes to the 165 of Kimesha “Sunshine” Alvarado, Frank Chestnut, Jr. had 549 votes to the 352 of Margaret Hardy and Udo Ufomado had 439 votes to the 291 of Debra Reeves-Howard.

Other candidates could not be reached for comment.

All district winners will begin positions officially after the Selma City Council certifies the election at the next meeting on Thursday.

Board members will then be sworn in at the next meeting on Jan. 21, according to Selma Schools Superintendent Dr. Austin Obasohan.

After a special election in April, voters chose to replace the 11 board members and president with four members from four districts and a president at large.