Interpretation's Date: March 26, 2002
by superintendent David Stewart
Section: III. County Educational Administration
SubSection: A. County Boards of Education



March 26, 2002

William C. Harvey, Superintendent
Brooke County Schools
1201 Pleasant Avenue
Wellsburg, West Virginia 26070

Dear Mr. Harvey:

This is to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated February 11, 2002 relative to the interpretation of West Virginia Code §18-5-1a and 18-5-1b. In particular, you asked:

Does a county board of education member immediately vacate his position by filing a certificate of candidacy for the Office of Democratic Executive Committee? OR
Can this board member, who filed erroneously for the Democratic Executive Committee, withdraw his name as a candidate and remain on the board of education, if he withdraws within the timelines?
Is it the candidate's responsibility to know that he could not file for another office while holding an office as a board member, or should someone have informed him of the WV Code section mentioned above?

The applicable section of West Virginia Code 18-5-1a states, in part, that:

No person shall be eligible for membership on any county board who is not a citizen, resident in such county, or who accepts a position as a teacher or service personnel in the school district in which he or she is a resident or who is an elected or appointed member of any political party executive committee, or who becomes a candidate for any other office than to succeed oneself.

No member or member-elect of any board shall be eligible for nomination, election or appointment to any public office, other than to succeed oneself, or for election or appointment as a member of any political party executive committee, unless and until after that membership on the board, or his status as member-elect to the board, has been terminated at or before the time of his filing for such nomination for, or appointment to, such public office or committee. [Emphasis added]

Therefore, a county board of education member would not meet the eligibility requirements to be listed as a candidate for a political party executive committee unless or until his or her membership on the county board of education is terminated. Both the board member and the clerk accepting the paperwork should be aware of this provision of law.

A subsequent section of code, West Virginia Code 18-5-1b, states, in part, that:

The term of office of any member of any county board of education shall immediately cease, and a vacancy shall exist, upon occurrence of ineligibility as prescribed in section one-a [18-5-1a] of this article.

When the board of education member in question became a candidate for the Office of Democratic Executive Committee, he became ineligible for membership on the board. Accordingly, his term of office immediately ceased as an operation of law.

Hoping that I have been of service, I am,



David Stewart
Superintendent of Schools



Back to Superintendent's Interpretations Home