New uncertainty about Baldwin County schools after a board member resigned. Angie Swiger stepped down just as negotiations gear up to separate Gulf Shores from the Baldwin County system.
Board members say Swiger's resignation came as a complete surprise, but now that that's happened there's a lot of work to be done. "The entire board and the folks there. There seemed to be some shock in the room that that had occurred but there's a process," said School Board President Cecil Cristenberry.
The district five school board position will be advertised like any other job. The deadline to apply is December,15 at 3pm.
"The new person will be from outside the proper limits of Gulf Shores, we still have a district down there, we still have Orange Beach and Lillian, and Elberta , out toward Fort Morgan and Bon Secour and those areas," said Christenberry.
Moving forward, the creation of a new Gulf Shores city school system leaves an uncertain future for those communities. Whoever takes over Swiger's position will represent fewer people.
Superintendent Eddie Tyler says a change in population will not affect how schools and students are treated. "The board never makes decisions based on population. Absolutely not, it’s all based on the needs of students that’s what it’s based on," said Tyler.
Lawyers will negotiate the future of those fringe communities like Fort Morgan and Bon Secour.
" Down the road there may be some redistricting I have no clue as to how that will work at this point. We will have a high school in Orange Beach and we have of course a high school in Elberta so there will be some changes coming down the pike," said Christenberry.
"They will continue to get what they need to be successful it doesn’t matter the size of the area the board member represents," said Tyler.
Angie Swiger in a letter she read to the board at last night’s meeting said: " I have come to the conclusion that my heart truly lies in my city and I have completed the job that 61% of the Gulf Shores voters elected me twice to do."
The board will hold a special meeting January, 4th where they will publically interview finalists for the job.