McCracken County School Board replaces board chair with member Chris Taylor

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — A lot of change in just a matter of minuets: On Thursda,y the McCracken County School Board chose a new chairman.

Board members Chris Taylor, Melanie Burkeen, and Tiffany Watson called a special meeting to remove Steve Shelby as board chair. Instead, at the beginning of the meeting, Shelby resigned from that role before the board could vote to remove him.

“I would like to take this opportunity to resign my position as the chairman of the McCracken County Board of Education,” Shelby said as the meeting began.

After Shelby stepped down the board was divided on who the new chair should be. Shelby supported Kelly Walker. Tiffany Watson nominated Chris Taylor. Taylor ended up being selected as the new chair in a 3 to 2 vote. Taylor says he felt it was time for a change.

“For the past few months there has been a lack of transparency, not only to the school community, but to the taxpayers of McCracken County,” says Taylor.

Taylor says he called Shelby on Wednesday to tell him the majority of the board wanted to move in a different direction. He says Shelby didn’t take it so well.

“I asked him to resign as board chair, and his words to me was that he was not going to do that, and I needed to be ready because he was going to be ready, and he — like he did the media — hung up on me,” says Taylor.

Shelby says he was surprised by this.

“I had no idea it was — something like this — was going to come up,” says Shelby.

But he says he’s ready to put it all in the past.

“The most important thing is that if we move forward, there have been a lot of distractions throughout the last few months. We want to get everything back on track,” says Shelby.

Taylor says this is a good thing for the entire district.

“This is just a step in moving forward to try and be as transparent as possible,” says Taylor.

After the first special meeting, another one was held to discuss potentially dissolving one of the district’s assistant superintendent positions. That meeting was called by Shelby on Wednesday. Kelly Walker says she is the one who wanted to discuss doing away with the position.

“I’m the one that asked Mr. Shelby to call this meeting, so we could have a transparent conversation. Being an educator, and those people who work with me know I’m a very out of the box thinker — and asking for this is perfectly legal, and perfectly ethical,” says Walker.

Walker took removing the position off the table, and the board did not vote on it.

To watch all of Thursday’s board meeting in full, click here.

To learn more about this story and others, follow Thomas on Facebook and Twitter.