Harper named president of West Jeff school board

(Posted Jan. 10, 2018)

By Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

New year elections swung in David Harper’s direction as he was named president of the Jefferson Local school board at the board’s Jan. 8 organizational meeting.

Harper had previously served as president before outgoing leader Dr. Meg Hiss was elected two years ago.

“It has been my pleasure to serve the school district as board president for the last two years,” Hiss said before switching seats with Harper.

After new board members Melissa Adams and Mike Quinn, along with Jerry Doran—who was re-elected in November—were sworn in, Adams nominated Harper to the presidency. Harper then nominated Adams as vice president.

Quinn was nominated and approved to serve as the board’s legislative liaison to the Ohio School Boards Association, and the board approved the appointment of Scott Scriven as legal counsel at the rate of $250 per hour, a slight increase, according to Harper.

During the board’s regular meeting, middle school Principal Debbie Omen and instructor Dennis Boyd provided an update on the school’s semester-long leadership class led by Boyd.

“I prefer the term difference makers,” Boyd said. “You might not always be in a leadership position, but you can always be a difference maker.”

As part of the course curriculum, students examine personal character traits and develop a character map. Once they go through their leadership analysis, they begin rounds of public presentations. They also learn about core values and how to accept criticism.

Boyd said former students often return to the classroom to interact with current students, sharing their high school and post-secondary education experiences. Professionals also share their personal experiences with the middle-schoolers.

Additionally, students must conduct a profit project—such as selling candy—and a project of influence. Previous projects have included an anti-drama and anti-bullying campaign.

“I probably learn more from these kids than they learn from me,” Boyd said. “They’re just beginning their journey.”

Following Boyd’s presentation, Superintendent William Mullett said it is very clear that Boyd and the leadership class is making a difference in the lives of Jefferson Local students.

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