Jared Bybee is the Clarke County Board of Education’s new president.
Charles Worthy, who had been president since 2006, handed the gavel over to Bybee in a Thursday board meeting after board members voted 6-3 to replace Worthy as the board’s presiding officer.
The board voted 6-3 for Bybee over Worthy, and chose Linda Davis as vice president. Davis replaces Sarah Ellis, who had declined nomination.
Board members had submitted nominations a week earlier at their agenda-setting meeting. Worthy and Bybee were on Thursday’s ballots for president. Davis and John Knox were the vice presidential nominees.
Bybee, first elected to the board in 2016, may be the board’s first Latino president and possibly the board’s first Latino board member — at least in recent memory.
He works in the University of Georgia’s technology transfer office. He was formerly director of UGA’s Thinc Week and also worked at UGA’s J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.
Bybee represents District 4. He is married to Mehrsa Baradaran, a professor and associate dean in UGA’s School of Law. They have three daughters in Clarke County public schools — one at Clarke Middle School and two at Barrow Elementary.
Bybee has undergraduate and master’s degrees from Brigham Young University and a law degree from the New York University School of Law. He is a board member of the Athens Land Trust and is active in other community organizations.
Bybee sees one of his strengths as promoting conversations, a skill he said would be important as Worthy passes the president’s gavel to him.
“I see the job of president as being a facilitator more than anything,” he said.
Davis, a native of Athens who returned to Athens in 2006, has represented the school board’s District 3 since 2012. She has a Shorter College undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in business from Kennesaw State University. Davis is vice president of Indigo Business Solution and an adjunct instructor at Athens Technical College.
Thursday’s vote was routine, but board votes aroused controversy last year.
In August, the board voted to adopt term limits for its president and vice president, which was seen by some in the community as a move to oust Worthy. The board subsequently backed off on that vote, which would have prevented Worthy and Ellis from running again, while the board’s policy committee works on revising that and other board policies.
Worthy had been president since 2006.