The Oak Ridge Board of Education on Monday appointed Benjamin Stephens to fill the seat being vacated by Vice Chair Robert S. Eby, who is resigning at the end of March in order to serve on the Tennessee State Board of Education.
Stephens will serve through the county election in August. The winning candidate in that election will then serve through the November election, which will have candidates for municipal, state, and federal offices.
Stephens is manager of academic partnerships at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has been involved in community activities, and he serves on the Oak Ridge Municipal Planning Commission.
At Monday’s meeting, BOE member Angi Agle said she and Laura McLean, another board member, served on a 2020 Committee with Stephens and were impressed with his service there.
Stephens said he has worked with the board on several strategic plans, and he is honored to serve on the Oak Ridge Board of Education.
“This is a wonderful board, and it’s a wonderful school system,” Stephens said.
Oak Ridge Board of Education Chair Keys Fillauer, who nominated Stephens at Monday’s meeting, said he could officially become a board member in April and possibly take the oath of office on Monday.
Eby was re-elected to a four-year term on the five-member school board in November 2014. He was one of three winners in an eight-person race, and he was the only incumbent that election. The other two winners in that election were both new to the school board: McLean and Paige Marshall.
Eby’s term would have ended in a little more than seven months, but he has said Tennessee state law does not allow him to serve on the state school board while also serving as a city, county, state, or elected federal official.
In February, Eby, who has been vice chair of the school board since June 2009 and served as chair in the 1990s, said Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam was appointing him to serve on the Tennessee State Board of Education effective April 1. He will represent Tennessee’s Third Congressional District, which includes Oak Ridge.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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