Newest BOE member explains decision to join McIntosh County - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Newest BOE member explains decision to join McIntosh County

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MCINTOSH CO., GA (WTOC) -

The newest member of the McIntosh County School Board explains why he decided to join the school board despite recent issues within the school system. 

Superintendent Tina Kirby, Assistant Superintendent Larry Day and McIntosh County Academy Principal Terrance Haywood are charged with failing to report child abuse after high school teacher Lori Quigley was accused of having sex with several students.

In April, the school board refused to suspend all three administrators. Since then, board member Sonya Lumley resigned for personal reasons.

Russell Kent is now taking over said he thought long and hard before taking on this position.

"I thought about it very carefully," said Kent.

Kent said it wasn't really his idea at first, but after hearing from many concerned parents, he decided to go for it.

He said he finally decided to submit his application to the McIntosh County School Board because he believes he could bring a fresh perspective to the table.

He's currently a professor at Georgia Southern University and has served on number of different boards.

"One of the things that I'm trying to do at this point and that I've got a good bit of experience doing is sorting through information, deciding what's real, factual, relevant to the decision," said Kent.

He's been in education for 25 years but says he's never dealt with anything like this.

"It's disturbing," said Kent.  

Kent said he had an idea of what he was getting into when he was appointed by the school board but says he is still trying to catch up on all the details of the investigation.

"This is a complex situation, you can't just wander into something and listen to what somebody has to say and jump on it. There are a lot of factors to consider," said Kent.  

Before Kent was appointed, board members refused to suspend all three administrators. A motion was brought to the floor twice and the motion died both times. But Kent said now that he's involved, there's a possibility the board could still vote to make changes.

"I think there is some disagreement about appropriate courses of action," said Kent. "I think we will have further discussion about that and hopefully I'll be able to contribute and we'll do whatever is the best thing to do"

The next school board meeting is on July 3rd. Kent says he only plans to serve on the school board until a new board member is elected in November. He says has no plans to run at this time.

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