Vacancies plague school board
The Columbus City School district is now searching for two replacements – and possibly a third - for vacant seats on the board of education.
Board President Terry Boyd will step down from his responsibilities on the board Jan. 31, to further pursue opportunities with his employer, Franklin University.
“I am in the process of initiating initiatives that are extremely important,” Boyd said. “The initiatives include various programs I oversee.”
Boyd oversees the undergraduate and graduate business division at the university and will now assist in developing new campuses in Indianapolis, Ind., as well as implementing programs in Macedonia and overseas in Poland and possible curriculum expansions in Europe and the Middle East.
Boyd was elected to office in 2003 and took his seat in 2004. Since taking office, Boyd has risen to his position as president of the board in 2006, and supervised the execution of policy governance. Through policy governance, the board’s role is policy-making, which frees the superintendent and her staff to make decisions daily.
During Boyd’s time on the board, he has seen the passage of two levies and the construction and renovation of numerous buildings in the district.
Though his time on the board has thrown some challenges, Boyd said the challenges can only be measured in victories.
“I depart with a level of satisfaction because the board is now clear on its roles as policy makers and overseers of the district rather than managers,” Boyd said. “I depart with a level of satisfaction that the superintendent’s role has clarity and her office and staff are aligned so that everyone is pushing in the same direction to obtain academic achievement.”
Boyd also has faith in new board President Carol Perkins, who lead her first meeting Jan. 6. Board member Stephanie Groce will serve as board vice-president.
Groce praised Boyd for his work on the board.
“I can’t underscore how important your leadership has been, especially in policy and governance,” Groce told Boyd at the Jan. 6 board meeting. “Your leadership is just so wonderful and I want the other board members and the community members to hear that.”
With the arrival of the new year, Boyd has high hopes for the district in its future endeavors.
“I know it will continue on its positive trajectory towards continuing academic achievement,” Boyd said of the district. “I am excited for the programs the superintendent has in mind. I’m positive the district will reach higher heights than we originally imagined.”
The school board is still searching to replace three-year member W. Carlton Weddington, who voters elected to the Ohio House in November. Eight people have applied for the empty seat on the board.
According to district spokesperson Jeffrey Warner, the board of education learned of Boyd’s resignation late on Jan. 5.
The board may have to search for a third candidate to replace Gary L. Baker II, who recently applied and is interviewing for a seat on Columbus City Council. Four out of five council members have interviewed Baker, he said.
Baker, who works at Huntington National Bank in trust operations and global securities, has served on the board of education for more than one year.
“I’ve enjoyed this a great deal,” Baker said. “I’ve learned a lot and have been able to pursue my calling to the community, which is where I see the vacancy on council. This is my opportunity to continue to serve a larger number of people as a member of council.”
If chosen to fill one of two empty council seats, vacated by Maryellen O’Shaughnessy and Kevin L. Boyce, Baker still expects to participate in the city education system. Baker would like to chair a joint committee made up of school board members and council members if he is hired.
Board members have learned of Baker’s intentions, and have been positive, he said.
“It’s been a very positive experience,” Baker said.
Two executive sessions took place Jan. 6, including discussions on how to fill the empty seats. The selection of one new board member could take place as early as Jan. 9, although the board could wait until the next regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 20 to make an announcement, according to Warner
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