CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — During Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Canyon Independent School District’s Board of Trustees, the board voted to accept the resignation of Place 3 member Randy Darnell and implement a process to fill the Place 3 vacancy.

According to the district’s website, Darnell is a farmer/rancher that was first appointed to the Canyon ISD Board in March 2005. Darnell, who was the longest-serving member of the Canyon ISD Board was reelected for his position in May 2021, receiving 62% of the vote.

Katharyn Wiegand, a member of the Canyon ISD Board, said that through his time on the board, Darnell believed in the team as a whole. She stressed that Darnell worked hard for everybody to work well together.

“So, anytime a board member resigns, I think there’s a little sadness, and you’re used to working with a team and you get comfortable and you trust each other,” she said. “But in the case of Randy Darnell, Randy is one who had the longest tenure on the board. His experience was so valuable for me coming on the board in 2011, to have someone who had been through a lot of the issues and was willing to mentor you along the way.”

After the board approved his retirement, officials then had a discussion surrounding how they should fill the position. With the next election coming up in May, Canyon ISD Board member Jenni Winegarner proposed that the board should not fill the open position until the voters decide on who should be the Place 3 trustee.

“I believe that, given the timeline as we’ve looked at it, our options here are obviously to appoint or to leave the seat open and move directly to the special election,” Winegarner said during the meeting. “In my understanding of the timeline, I think that it’s in the best interest of the board and of our community and those interested in filling that position to thoughtfully consider their intent under those timelines.”

The election method was the ultimate decision that the board made during the meeting on a 4-2 vote. However, other board members did not agree with the approach.

Canyon ISD Board Member Linda Hinders proposed that the board fill the position as soon as possible, stating her opinion that it did not hurt for the board to conduct interviews and appoint someone.

“The process has worked well. I’m looking at some appointees and thinking that’s worked well in the past,” Hinders said in the meeting. “I hate to have a seat open. There’s just a lot to learn… There’s really value in the next three months. It’s not like there wouldn’t be value.”

Members of the community can find more information about how to apply for a place on the May 2023 Canyon ISD ballot on the district’s website. Wiegand said this is an opportunity to serve the district as a whole.

“We have a great opportunity for someone new to step up and bring a fresh voice to the Board of Trustees and to bring us some new ideas and new thoughts and just become a member of this great team,” Wiegand said.