Birmingham Board of Education selects a new member


The Birmingham Board of Education has a new face. Thursday night, it picked a new member to replace former Board President Edward Maddox. He resigned last month after pleading guilty to ethics violations. Job interviews are almost never easy, but {}interviewing for a seat on the Birmingham City School Board?{}Three candidates faced city school leaders, news cameras, and an audience hoping to land the seat vacated by Edward Maddox.{}"I have to speak in front of large groups all the time at my job, but not like this in front of cameras so this was new for me - so a little nervous!" Anissia Hatcher, a candidate said."With all the news cameras and with people listening to everything you have to say, you just hope you're not saying the wrong thing," Robert Walker, Jr., a candidate said.But after two hours of interviews, and a vote, the board picked Carol Clarke. {}"I think the public could see tonight that this board was willing to work together," Dr. Craig Pouncey, State Board of Education said. "We went through a process and the board was very respectful of the participants.""I think it's the most important thing I've ever done in my life so I really want it to be good and make a good contribution," Carol Clarke, the newest board member said.She's an executive at Regions bank, and a former city economic development director- as well as a Birmingham City Schools grad."I bring a broad view of resources in this community just from working with non profits and the city of Birmingham," Clarke said.And after cutbacks, layoffs, and a state takeover - she says her challenge is keeping schools open. "It occurred to me that I could step up and that I had some talent to lend to the process," Clarke said.Clarke will be sworn in during the next board meeting.{}