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Interviews of Madison Board of Education finalists set for Wednesday

MADISON – Madison Board of Education soon will have a new member.

The board seat for Luis Ferrer will revert to open in June. Ferrer has decided not to remain on the board. Madison Board of Education members serve five-year, staggered terms that expire on June 1.

School board members do not run for office. No election is held.

Residents Interested in serving on the board submitted their applications by April 4, and Madison City Council members reviewed the forms to select candidates for interviews. After several rounds of interviews, City Council selects the board member.

Council members will interview finalists on May 4 at 5:30 p.m. in Conference Room 130 at Madison City Hall. The meeting will be open to the public.

Five individuals are vying for the school board seat:

* Justen Alexander – Works as a substitute teacher for Madison City Schools. After attending Bob Jones High School, she graduated from the University of North Alabama in 2007. Alexander calls Madison home and lives in District 7.

Alexander serves on the PTA Board at Columbia Elementary School. She is a member of the nomination committee with Madison City Chess League.

* Jennessa Crossway — Works for Wellstone Behavioral Health. She attended Greenwood High School and then earned degrees from the University of Alabama and Argosy University in 2003 and 2009, respectively. Crossway is active with Rainbow Elementary School PTA and served as its Vice President from 2017 to 2019 on the Fundraising Board.

Crossway also has served on the MCS Special Education Committee from 2018 to 2020. She is a resident of District 7.

* Scott Newberry – Employed by HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology. He graduated from Grissom High School and then earned a degree at Auburn University in 2003.

Newberry is active with Rainbow Elementary PTA and serves as Parent Assistant Coach for Rainbow Chess Club. He lives in District 7.

* Stephanie Walker – Owns local media group, Rocket City Mom. She graduated from Hazel Green High School in 1995 and then attended the University of Montevallo. Since 2020, Walker has served as a board member of Madison Visionary Partners.

Walker has been a member of Madison City Council of PTAs for two years. She lives in District 5.

* Dr. Karockas Watkins — Works as CEO of Ability Plus Inc. Watkins attended Austin High School in Decatur and then enrolled at Kettering University and graduated in 1993. He earned a doctorate’s degree in theology in 2007 from North Carolina College of Theology.

Since 2018, Watkins has served as Workforce Vice President with Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce. He also volunteered on the board of Hogan Family YMCA from 2016 to 2019 and as Chair of the Young Adult Committee for Greater Huntsville Rotary Club since 2015. He lives in District 4.

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