GUTHRIE — Two names will be on the Feb. 11 ballot for an opening on the Guthrie school board, but one candidate said he will not serve if elected.
Voters will choose between Jennifer Bennett-Johnson, 44, and Jonathan “JW” Williams, 51, for the four-year term.
Kay Gammill, of Guthrie Public Schools, said the seat is open because Orville Cornelius did not file for re-election.
Williams is a police officer in Guthrie. He said one of his goals was to become a resource officer for Guthrie schools. He found out a few weeks ago he would become a resource officer and could not remove his name from the ballot. He can't serve in his new post and be on the board.
“I'm not sure when I start (as school resource officer),” he said. “That will be up to the chief.”
He said he wasn't expecting the appointment so soon and does not know if he will serve at the high school or middle school. He said he isn't campaigning for the board seat.
If Williams is elected, Logan County Election Board Secretary Erin Dorio said, he would be certified the winner the Friday after the election. It is expected Williams would then resign, and the school board would appoint a new member.
Dorio said all registered voters in the Guthrie school district can vote in the race.
Bennett-Johnson is the mother of two school-age children including a daughter who attends Guthrie High School.
“I think the people in the district would much rather vote for a board member than have one appointed,” Bennett-Johnson said.
She attended Auburn University and has lived in Oklahoma since 1989. She works as a construction manager at Oklahoma State University.
Bennett-Johnson said she is an opponent of common core academic standards.
“I don't think the one-size-fits-all is appropriate,” she said.
She also said growth will continue to challenge the district, which has an enrollment of 3,570 students.
She said her experience as a construction manager would be helpful to her as a board member.
She is married to Sterling Johnson, owner of Patriot Industries, a Guthrie firearms business.