Alexandria School Board member Judith S. Seltz, interrupting the scheduled agenda of a board meeting last night, called on colleague Lynnwood G. Campbell Jr. to resign if he is unwilling to place student needs above personal political motivations.

Campbell, a three-term board member and an announced candidate for City Council, denied any wrongdoing and said he was guided by the experience he has gained in eight years on the board.

Seltz attacked him for joining council members Michael Jackson and Kerry J. Donley this month in asking for an independent audit of the school system's operations.

"If Mr. Campbell cannot place the educational best interests of Alexandria's students above where he thinks he may find political gain, I suggest he give serious thought to whether he should continue to serve on this board," Seltz said.

Seltz accused Campbell of trying to distance himself from the board at a time when the community has expressed concerns about schools and when local politicians have signaled that education will play an important role in May's City Council race.

"Perhaps Mr. Campbell, checking the political wind, decided that adding his name to the request would be prudent," Seltz said.

Campbell said in response that "if you don't like {the proposed audit}, I suggest you tell the City Council."

He also said poor communications between the council and the board in the last two years, when Seltz served as board chairman, may have been one of the reasons an examination of school operations would now be welcome.

Seltz, in a prepared statement, assailed Campbell for not seeking board members' input into the proposal before it was drafted and sent to City Manager Vola Lawson. The proposal seeks to review program areas such as minority achievement, which Seltz said fell out of the council's purview.

Board member Timothy S. Elliott said in an interview after Seltz's statement that "I believe she expressed the sentiment of all or most of the other board members."

After a 10-minute exchange between Seltz and Campbell, Board Chairman A. Melvin Miller moved quickly to the next item on the agenda, prompting nervous laughter from the 60 parents in the audience.

"No public comment?" asked one spectator.

"This is not a public comment meeting," Miller responded before moving on.

Board and council members will hold a joint meeting Jan. 28 during which the public will be asked whether they support the idea of a management audit.