‘My family needs more of me now.’ Fayette County school board member resigns

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A Fayette County Public Schools Board Member resigned Monday, effective immediately.

Christy Morris, who served on the board for three years, told the Herald-Leader there were no problems on the board or in the district that led to her resignation.

“My time on the Fayette County Board of Education has been by all accounts an honor. The work is needed, and it takes deliberate devotion and attention. However, after careful thought, my family needs more of me now,” Morris said. “For that reason, I am resigning effective immediately, and I look forward to hearing from the public servants who may vie to take my place.

“To that person, I wish you the best of luck. To my fellow board members, to Dr. Liggins, and to the FCPS family — thank you. Your devotion to our students, families, and community are proven. I am proud to call you leaders in our great city,” Morris said.

Several board members praised Morris’ time on the school board.

“The passion, insight, and care that Board Member Morris brought to her role and this position remain an inspiration to me and our Board team,” said Fayette County Board of Education Chair Tyler Murphy. “Christy put her heart and soul into this work and the children, staff, and families in Fayette County Public Schools are better because of her service. I know that she will continue to have a meaningful impact on our community. We are grateful for her service and commitment to the children of FCPS.”

Members of the Fayette County Board of Education voted unanimously Monday to accept her resignation.

“It has been an honor to serve alongside our team and help lay the necessary foundation for the future of our schools,” said Morris. “I can’t wait to see what the future holds for our schools and hope that while serving in this role, I have done my part to ensure a great future for our kids.”

Morris represents District 1 in west Fayette County, which pulls from areas roughly between Leestown and Harrodsburg roads. Morris was elected in 2019 to fill an unexpired term representing District 1 and ran again in 2020 to continue to fill the post through 2024, a district news release said.

During her tenure on the board, she worked with three superintendents including Manny Caulk, who died suddenly in 2020, and Marlene Helm, who served in an acting role for eight months. Morris was a member of the board team that selected Demetrus Liggins following a national search in 2021.

In her resignation announcement, Morris expressed both gratitude for the opportunity to “serve our community in a meaningful way” and confidence in the current district leadership.

“I feel very fortunate knowing that under both of your leadership, our community and our students are in good hands,” she wrote in an email to Liggins and Fayette County Board of Education Chair Tyler Murphy.

Morris’ time on the board spanned the COVID-19 pandemic, during which she advocated for the widespread distribution of meals for children throughout the community.

Morris was also a member of the board team that established gender-specific STEM programs, adopted the New Way Forward strategic plan, approved a dedicated revenue stream to address facility needs, and initiated the construction of a new Tates Creek High School, a new middle school on Polo Club Boulevard and a state-of-the-art Career and Technical Center on Midland Avenue.

Prior to joining the school board, Morris was the co-founder and treasurer of Fayette Eating Education and Delivery (FEED). She has also served as a member of Beaumont Middle School’s Family Resource Advisory Council, the PTA Sister School liaison, director of Run the Bluegrass kids’ race, cross-country coach at Rosa Parks Elementary,and a Cub Scout leader at Cardinal Valley Elementary.

Morris, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration-Finance from the University of Kentucky, and her husband Michael have two sons who attend Fayette County Public Schools.

Filling the seat

The school board will select a new board member in the next 60 days as required under a new state law.

Recent changes in state law have made local school boards responsible for filling vacancies among their ranks. The board will immediately begin soliciting input from the community through December 31, 2022, to help develop a profile that will guide the selection of the next school board member.

The district will begin accepting applications for the District 1 seat through the close of business on December 23, 2022, and will have up to 60 days to complete the selection process.

Eligible individuals must be at least 24 years old, have been a Kentucky citizen for at least the last three years, be a registered voter in District 1, have completed the 12th grade or have a GED certificate (transcript or certificate required), meet all other legal eligibility requirements in accordance with KRS 160.180, and once selected, complete required annual in-service training.

The successful applicant will serve until the next general election on November 7, 2023, and will have the opportunity, along with other interested candidates, to seek election to fulfill the remainder of Morris’ term through the end of 2024.

Interested applicants can submit an application online.