Local Chick-fil-A exec appointed to BISD board
The Texas Education Agency on Thursday appointed the executive director of Beaumont’s Chick-fil-A restaurants to join Beaumont ISD’s school board as a manager.
Alexandrew Seale, 30, of Beaumont was appointed by Commissioner of Education Mike Morath to fill the vacancy left as board secretary Vernice Monroe stepped into former president Joe Domino’s seat. Domino resigned from the district on Aug. 16.
A 2006 Clifton J. Ozen High School graduate, Seale would “represent Beaumont very well,” said Jeff Cottrill, the TEA’s director of governance.
Seale “started wiping tables” at Chick-fil-A when he was 14, he said. As executive director of the Dowlen Road and College Street locations, he said he hopes to take his company’s “core values” of community relations and development into his position on the school board.
Seale said he looks forward to being “visible and available” on BISD campuses, where he said students would grow to become future community leaders and business owners.
Seale’s appointment to the school board is part of an ongoing “transition to local control” with more appointments to come in February, Cottrill said. The final state appointments will take place in February 2020.
Elected trustees were ousted in 2014 as part of a state takeover.
Morath added managers Angela Corbin Bransford and Mitch Templeton in August 2017 after former board president Jimmy Simmons and members Lenny Caballero and Jack Carroll stepped down in July of last year.
Templeton now is the Republican candidate for a state judgeship in the 172nd District, potentially leaving another vacancy on the school board. He is running against Melody Chapell, a former Beaumont ISD attorney.
Trustees Nathan Cross and Denise Wallace-Spooner, who were elected in May 2017, were added to the board by Morath in February 2018. They’ll serve through the end of their elected term, unlike the managers, who are installed and removed by Morath, unless resigning first.
Wallace-Spooner, an at-large trustee, will be up for re-election in May 2019, and District 5 representative Cross will be on the board through 2021. Trustees chose between two- and four-year terms by drawing lots last summer, as required by state law.
In a letter sent to the district this February, Morath formally initiated the multiyear transition process to replace the appointed managers with elected trustees.
One-third of the elected officials will replace one-third of the managers gradually over the next two years until the board is entirely made up of elected officials in 2020.
Morath could have replaced Domino with another manager, who would serve under his appointment, or with one of the remaining elected trustees, who have been sidelined since they were elected last spring.
The incoming board president, Monroe, is an associate professor emeritus of social work at Lamar University. She served as special assistant for university multicultural enhancement to former Lamar president Jimmy Simmons current president Kenneth Evans.
At-large trustee Mandie Peel and Kevin Reece, who represents District 4, have less than a year remaining before their seats are up for re-election in 2019. Their terms could expire before Morath seats them.
Zenobia Bush, who was elected to represent District 2 and was a trustee before the 2014 state takeover, and District 3 trustee Thomas Sigee could be seated for at least a year before the 2021 election.
The District 1 trustee seat remains open after Charles Daleo resigned because he moved out of the district following Tropical Storm Harvey. TEA previously said managers have the authority to name his replacement, but the board has not yet made that announcement.
With reporting by Liz Teitz.