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Smiley resigns from Danville school board

Danville school board member Paul Smiley unexpectedly resigned from his seat on the board effective at noon this past Monday.

In a letter sent to Superintendent Dr. Tammy McDonald and the rest of the school board on Monday, Smiley wrote, “For 14 years and four months, I have served on the Danville Board of Education. In the last four months my desire to serve has decreased significantly. For this reason, I am submitting my resignation from the board …”

“I do extend best wishes for continued success to the Danville schools’ leadership, faculty and staff members!” Smiley wrote.

“My sincere desire is given for all students to receive an excellent education therefore assisting them to meet their goals for their lives.”

Smiley was most recently elected to the board on Nov. 6, 2018, and was the top vote getter with 2,289 votes in a field of five candidates, where the top three were seated on the board. He was also on the school board for 13 years about 10 years ago when he served under superintendents Bill Grimes, Bob Rowland.

Board Chair Steve Becker said on Tuesday, “I am saddened by the resignation of Paul Smiley. There must have been deep personal reasons for this.”

The next board meeting will be Monday, May 11, when members will officially accept Smiley’s letter of resignation and declare a vacancy, Becker said. It’s a complicated process to fill a vacancy, and he’s still gathering specific information from the Kentucky School Boards Association about how the process is to go forward, he added.

The board can appoint a temporary member who will serve until the November election when a new member will be elected to fulfill Smiley’s unfinished term. The temporary member can either fill the seat until the election, or they may add their name to the ballot also, Becker said. More details on the process are to come, he added.

Tuesday afternoon, Smiley said he has enjoyed working on the school board “for all those years” and has worked well with the different superintendents, including McDonald. “I think that she’s doing an excellent job leading the school system.” Smiley also said he believes those working in the central office, and all of the principals and faculty, are also working for the benefit of all students.

“It’s always about the students, and nothing else,” Smiley said. “It’s been easy to work with the board at Danville,” because of “the entire staff’s devotion and hard work to provide the best possible education for our students.”

“I’ve been involved in the community for so long,” Smiley said. He was president of the Bluegrass Athletic Conference for 25 years, and was on the Danville City Commission for one term. He said he’s also served on many public organizations including Adult Education, Red Cross, YMCA board, United Way and KyAdapt, just to name a few.

“I just think it’s time,” Smiley said, to step away and devote more time to his family. “I just got to the point in these last four months that I don’t want to do anything but go to church and travel with my wonderful wife, Pat.”