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Gary School Board

The elected trustees of the Gary Community School Corp. serve solely in an advisory capacity for Emergency Manager Peggy Hinckley to consult when she sees fit. The board is limited to four public meetings a year. Hinckley must hold monthly public forums to keep Gary residents apprised of what's happening in their school corporation. (HEA 1315)

Nellie Moore, board president at Gary Community School Corp., said she'll submit her resignation at Tuesday's School Board meeting.

Moore, a 12-year member of the board, said after a 65-year career in public education she is stepping aside to allow new leadership to take the helm at Gary schools.

"Everyone has an obligation and a civic responsibility to do what they can while they can for the community and the citizens," Moore said. "The time has come for me to pass the baton on for somebody else."

Moore was one of three board members, along with board members Darling Pleasant and Mary Felton, with terms up this year who declined to file for re-election in November.

Because no one else filed to fill the open seats, according to state law, the three board members were allowed to resign or retain their seats on the board for another four-year term.

Moore said she will offer her formal resignation at Tuesday's meeting. Vice President Robert Buggs said he also expects Pleasant to resign as well, bringing the seven-member board to just five members.

Pleasant did not return calls for comment.

The remaining board members are expected to elect new officers Tuesday night.

Buggs said he hopes to be elected president and plans to bring changes to the board. He said he has grown frustrated with the board's restricted scope after the state's takeover of Gary schools in August 2017.

When MGT Consulting Group assumed emergency management duties due to the school corporation's sizable debt, Buggs said the state's Distressed Unit Appeals Board stripped the Gary School Board of its $2,000 stipend for each elected member, limited meetings to just once every three months and removed much of the board's decision-making power.

"We don't have any authority, we don't have any input, it's nothing," Buggs said. "If I become president, there's going to be some changes, some clarifications."

Buggs said he hopes that board member Carlos Tolliver will be elected vice president on Tuesday, and that Norman Bailey will stay on as secretary.

Moore said despite the challenges posed by serving in a strictly advisory role, she hopes her colleagues continue to use their voices to advocate for public education. She said she'll continue to do the same.

"I certainly love the Gary Community School Corp.," she said. "They've been very kind to me and my family. I love public education."

The Gary School Board meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Gary Area Career Center.

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Education Reporter

Carley Lanich covers education in Lake County and throughout the Region. She comes to Northwest Indiana from Indianapolis and is an IU-Bloomington grad.