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Power shift: Smith, Smola vote in new chair, appointee Presberg

Get appointed to your first public office in November and take charge of the school board two months later.

That’s the accelerated career path of Leonard Presberg, newly minted chairman of the Fayette County Board of Education.

The first meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education in 2012 held Jan. 9 included several housekeeping duties that led to a vote for appointee Leonard Presberg to serve as board chairman, Terri Smith as vice-chair and maintained the Monday meeting schedule.

The school board each January elects a chair and vice-chair to serve during the calendar year.

The call to nominate a chairman for the year led to the nomination of 2011 Chairman Bob Todd by board member Marion Key. The nomination was short-lived as it died without a second.

Up next was the nomination of board member Leonard Presberg by board member Terri Smith. The motion received a second by board member Janet Smola.

The vote was 3-2, with Smith, Smola and Presberg in favor and with Key and Todd opposed. Todd after the vote congratulated Presberg, adding that he would work with him.

“I was honored to nominate Leonard Presberg for chair of the Fayette County Board of Education for a variety of reasons,” Smith said. “Fayette County Board of Education can only benefit from the leadership of a chair who supports the work of our superintendent and recognizes the need to build support for Fayette’s public schools. He has the energy, enthusiasm, and desire to do the job. I look forward to working with him to move the school system forward in 2012.”

Next up was the decision on a vice-chair. Smola nominated Smith and received a second by Presberg. Todd also nominated Key, though Key asked that her name be withdrawn. The vote on Smith was taken and received a 3-2 vote, again with Smola, Smith and Presberg voting in favor and Todd and Key opposing.

As for the meeting schedule for the remainder of 2012, the board voted unanimously to keep the meeting nights on Mondays except when holidays fall on that day. The vote came after a recommendation by Superintendent Jeff Bearden.

New Chairman Pressberg was selected unanimously by Smith, Smola, Todd and Key in mid-November from a slate of volunteers who submitted résumés. He has never run for elective office.

He was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Post 5 member Sam Tolbert, who died Sept. 22 of cancer after serving nine months of a four-year term.



suggarfoot's picture

after the meeting?

The vote was 3-2, with Smith, Smola and Presberg in favor and with Key and Todd opposed. Todd after the vote congratulated Presberg, adding that he would work with him.

How cool? NOT!

Careful - you're validating the obstructionist strategy of the Republican Party. We are all hopeful that the current BOE will work together in providing our students a good education during these difficult times,

Dondol's picture

For anybody that has lived here for more than 30 days, it would seem that
Smola/Smith have found themselves a new Lackey.

kimberlyinptc's picture

Take a look at what Leonard Presberg's Mother-in-Law thinks...

A proud representative of the Democratic Party and the values of America!! Thanks for sharing! I think Ninja is right. That board was not so subtle when the questioner at the end asked her to identify herself - and seemed a little smug when she identified herself as a Democrat. You have taxpayers in FC who are independent and who are sick and tired of this not so subtle 'racist' attitude that is still apparent in a few in 'power' here. Those of you with these thoughts don't represent all of FC today. Newcomers of color appreciate what Fayette County has become; appreciate the welcome that we receive from our neighbors and church goers; and we have the education and the patience to see that your antiquated concepts are not passed down to the new generation of FC residents. This county, as I said before, should be a role model of the 'NEW SOUTH'!

suggarfoot's picture

you are just a closet black panther..

no other group feels they are so crippled by who they are that they have to have 'special consideration' and a legal help for over 40 years.

Not the Scott Irish, the French, the Orientals, the Hispanics..only you

these other groups do it the hard way...they ...EARN their place

I guess ignorant, insecure Americans don't need a 'closet' - they just open their mouths and tell everyone about their insecurities. A Black man is president - and obviously you can't deal with it. LOL!

Bgosh & Bgorra---it's another campaign speech!

was that Jack Smith and Eric Maxwell in that video?

ptctaxpayer's picture

BOE Politics--- you guys and Cal got it all wrong saying it was a political fix. Pressberg just offered to reinstitute the All-You-Can-Eat breakfast buffet and Smola jumped right on board.

Pressberg is a good guy. This is a non-story.

And her son-in-law was the swing vote ! Geez !

Fayette Native

Steve Brown's picture

Chairman Presberg is the perfect ending of the Terri Smith and Janet Smola era at the Fayette County Board of Education.

You would think the end of their rein would be the quiet tapping of voters discharging them of their duties at the polls. However, their frivolous spending to the detriment of our teachers and students and their horrible financial decisions have been trumped with the accession of Democrat Presberg to BOE Chairman.

The July Primary election can not come soon enough.

[QUOTE]accession of Democrat Presberg to BOE Chairman.[/QUOTE]

Wow! No matter the qualifications of this educator; his stated plans for the recovery of the situation in FC; the seemingly acceptance of the community of this individual - he's a Democrat!! Gotta go! Is this politics as usual or an earnest attempt at providing the students here in Fayette County continued excellence in education? I commend Smith and Smola for recognizing that the man's expertise and accomplishment can help guide this BOE through some difficult times ahead. If he and the other members of the BOE can accomplish this - who gives a RA about the 'party' affiliation?? I guess politician Brown.

Veritas's picture

WOW ...'Really qualifications hmmmmmmm. Please read his resume then research his AAAHHIMM "finacial expertise and ummmmmm eductional experience" The lack of vetting from our leadership in Washington down to th localBOE is driving this country and our county down the drain.'I could careless if the man was republican, democrate,independant or centrist ....but you come to One BOE meeting ( and more than likely this man never attended a Boe meeting until applying for this post)and instantly become an expert on the situation , operation, functioning and issues in our educational system enough to deem yourself better suited to chair cough cough sounds alot like ego to me. I,m interested to get your take on the research you find on Mr. Presburg's so called qualifications..

[quote]Presberg currently serves as chief financial officer at Women’s Medical Center, was the former headmaster and teacher at Hill Country Montessori, and an attorney with Fayetteville-based George N. Sparrow, Jr.Presberg has two children in the Fayette school system and has served as a youth coach on the school council and the PTO. He said previously that, as a teacher, he has taught all ages of students. Presberg said he is aware of the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching, noting that he is especially interested in the impact of technology on education, both now and in the future. He also referenced the similarities in education and medicine, both of which are currently dealing with decreasing revenues.[/quote]

Are you telling us that The Citizen did not vet? Please enlighten us.

Veritas's picture


Veritas's picture

No the citizen did not complete due diligence they only printed what the candidates provided... Now i'll give you one more chance to do your own work and research his qulification and be enlightened about what you find......It's called embellishment through insinuation

How long have his kids been in Fayette County schools? Anyone know?

suggarfoot's picture

I'm soo glad my kid is at Univ of Al on a full scholarship n outta just lets get Mom out of this bad dream.

the nice part is I can leave

Well what do you know, the three musketeers are back! So far, they have made some very bad decisions. Fayette is going to pot, fast! I wonder if Todd and Key regret their decision. Can't wait to vote these 3 out - really want to see Smith and Smola go.

All I needed to know about Presberg I found here:

Fayette Native

Falcon, you are clearly a member of the unwashed & uninformed who just floats the mainstream, unable to focus on the 'way out yonder'! You may try asking Ninja for some advice.

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