Jessica Mathews /

The Howell Public Schools Board of Education has appointed a familiar face to fill a vacant seat.

The board appointed Brent Earl to fill the vacancy created when Marcus Wilcox resigned earlier this month. Earl will serve the remainder of Wilcox’s term, which expires on December 31st, 2024.

The appointment was made during a special board meeting last Friday. Following Earl’s selection, he was administered the Oath of Office and joined the Board of Education at the board table for the remainder of the meeting.

A press release states before the application deadline, Earl resigned from the Board of Education and applied to fill the seat vacated by Wilcox’s resignation. Earl’s term on the board was to end on December 31st, 2022. Since Earl’s term was set to end, the board will not fill the vacancy.

Brent Earl is a sales leader in the technology industry. He served on the school board from 2015 - 2022. Earl has four children; three that graduated from Howell High School and one who is currently attending school in the district. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Marketing from Hillsdale College. Earl is also a Howell High School alumnus.

Nine candidates met the criteria to apply to fill the vacant board seat. The other candidates were Joseph Cartwright, Stephen Dault, Kevin De Ceuninck, Stacy Farrell, Jamison Hardy, Lawrence Keister, Randall Mattson and Tanya Zirkle. As part of the application process, each candidate had to file a letter of interest and answer qualifying questions. During the Special Board of Education meeting, each candidate made a brief statement to the Board of Education and responded to questions from the board.

Following the statements and questions, each board member ranked their top candidates to narrow the field of candidates to three. The board then discussed the top three candidates and once again ranked the candidates. Earl received the highest ranking - leading to a motion to appoint him to the board.