ACS parents have urged city council to delay the appointment of a new board member.



Despite the decline of suspend the appointment of a new member, George Sieburg was sworn in Asheville City Education Council October 19.

Sieburg, former teacher and board member of the Asheville City Schools Foundation, replaces Jackie McHargue, who resigned from the school board in August due to his family moving to Weaverville. Council members are required to live in the Asheville City Schools limits.

“I am absolutely delighted that such an incredible person as George is joining the board of trustees and carrying on the legacy of the schools in the town of Asheville and doing everything in the best interests of our children,” McHargue said during his remarks. last meeting on October 11.

When McHargue announced his departure from council in August, many parents and ACS teachers urged Asheville City Council to postpone the appointment of a new council member until the state legislature. voted on Bill 400 House, who is currently on the last committee before reaching the floor of the State Senate. If it becomes law, the City of Asheville Education Council will go from nomination to election.

Currently, those interested in serving on the school board apply to city council, which selects and appoints candidates. Only one other school board in the state is not elected.

Find out more about the HB 400:

As the HB 400 neared a legislature vote, several people spoke out against jumping to nominate Sieburg, which the council did on August 24 with a 6-1 vote. Councilor Kim Roney was the only opposition.

Additionally, many said city council rushed Sieburg without community involvement.

“This only deepens the mistrust of ACS parents towards city council and the board of directors,” ACS parent Christina Mason told the Citizen Times in August. “We don’t feel like we have representation.

George Sieburg was sworn in to the City of Asheville Board of Education by Judge Alan Thornburg on October 19, 2021.

The board decided to appoint a new school board member just hours after the committee of boards and commissions approved Sieburg’s recommendation on August 24.

The committee chose Sieburg from the pool of candidates who applied to the school board in April, Deputy Mayor Sheneika Smith said.

“What is discouraging is not (Sieburg) particularly” Asheville City Educators Association said President Daniel Withrow. “He could very well be a wonderful member of the school board. It’s really about not having a process to allow community input here.

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Sieburg told the Citizen Times he was aware of the controversy surrounding his appointment.

“I fully recognized that I was the one who benefited from this process, so I guess I take this as a real opportunity, for lack of a better word, to prove that I was the right choice,” he said. -he declares. “Recognizing that I have benefited from the process and have benefited from it, I would like to extend this benefit to others.

Originally from Annapolis, Sieburg was a college professor in Baltimore and Costa Rica before moving to Asheville, where he taught at Carolina Day School during two years.

He left the education business in 2004 and ran the family business, Able Rent-A-Jon, for 15 years. He was Finance Director of Homeward Bound of Western North Carolina before settling into his current role of Director of Operations at Jordan Peer Recovery.

George Sieburg is sworn in to the City of Asheville Education Council by Judge Alan Thornburg on October 19, 2021.

He was also interim director and member of the board of directors of the Asheville City Schools Foundation For four years.

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Sieburg said he decided to join the Asheville City Education Council so that he could use his knowledge of education and finance to improve the neighborhood in which his two daughters attend school.

“The pandemic has given everyone – if they choose to accept it – the opportunity to really rethink the way we run the world and the way we operate in the world, and I hope that at the council administration, we can start thinking about that in terms of funding, ”he said.

Sieburg joins the board of education weeks after a private financial consultancy firm said current spending and enrollment at schools in the town of Asheville was “Unsustainable and justify immediate action”.

Previous coverage:Cheaper preschool option could mean bigger fund balance for Asheville schools

HIL Consultants report suggested that the district implement an immediate hiring freeze and consolidate programs and schools “where possible” – suggestions that elicited reactions from the community.

ACS has not said whether it will heed the company’s suggestions, but Sieburg, along with the rest of the board, will be the people making the call.

“I think it’s important, as a new board member, that I’m really listening,” he said. “The good thing is that I haven’t had a conversation yet that hasn’t been fruitful and hasn’t been productive. “

Shelby Harris is a reporter who covers breaking news, education and other topics. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @_shelbyharris.



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