Two emails were recently circulated from an anonymous individual regarding High Point Academy’s Board of Directors (“Board”). The anonymous individual who circulated the emails appears to have a misunderstanding of charter school law, Board governance, and how HPA’s Board operates. The Board’s Governance Committee believes this is an excellent opportunity to explain how HPA’s Board functions. Additionally, all Board meetings are open to the public and we invite everyone to attend our meetings to learn more about who we are and how we operate.
Initially, the Board wants to ensure that everyone understands how individuals are seated as Board members. South Carolina law requires that charter school boards consist of at least seven directors who may serve terms of two years. Further, fifty percent of the members of the Board must have a background in K-12 education or in business, and at least fifty percent of the members of the Board must be elected by the employees and parent or guardians of students enrolled at HPA. The Board’s bylaws provide that the Board has nine seats, and consistent with South Carolina law, five seats are elected and four seats are appointed. In even years, such as 2018, three elected seats and two appointed seats are filled, and in odd years, two elected seats and two appointed seats are filled.
HPA held its annual Board election in May. The Board election was administered by the South Carolina Public Charter School Alliance (“Alliance”), and the Alliance’s certification of the full election results is available. The Board is excited and looks forward to working with three newly elected members, Scott Taylor, Robert Gouge, and Paul McKee.
The Board’s bylaws state that the Board will appoint new members by a majority vote of the Board as soon as possible after the general election takes place. Following the election in May, during the Board’s June 4, 2018 meeting, the Board members nominated and unanimously appointed Matt Nestberg and Ann Marie Israel to fill the two open appointed seats on the Board. The Board is pleased that Matt and Ann Marie both accepted the appointments. In summary, all elections and appointments to the High Point Academy Board of Directors this spring were done in accordance with South Carolina charter school law and HPA’s existing bylaws.
Additionally, HPA’s Board did not call for a surprise board meeting to take place on Friday, June 8. Rather, HPA’s standing Governance Committee called for a committee meeting on June 8 to discuss HPA’s goals for the next year with HPA’s Superintendent. HPA’s Governance Committee posted notice of the committee meeting in accordance with the provisions of the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.
Lastly, one of the anonymous emails suggested that two former HPA Board members, Shawn Lilly and Marcia Gibson, are mysteriously no longer on the HPA Board. Mr. Lilly and his family moved out of state, and Mr. Lilly voluntarily resigned from his position on the HPA Board effective January 31, 2018, as noted in the Board’s meeting minutes from January 30, 2018, which are available on HPA’s website. Under South Carolina law, all charter school board members must be residents of the State of South Carolina. Additionally, during the June 4, 2018 Board meeting, Ms. Marcia Gibson voluntarily resigned from her position as a Board member. The Board appreciates Mr. Lilly’s and Ms. Gibson’s service to HPA.
The Governance Committee hopes this information is helpful to clarify some of the misunderstandings and inaccuracies that were circulated by email. The HPA Board looks forward to working with you to serve the best interests of HPA’s students, employees, and families with honor, service, and integrity.
Click here for the latest board election results.