London opens search for Academy board member

At a Jan. 4 special meeting, lack of required paperwork prevented the London Board of Education from filling one of three vacant seats on the London Academy board.

Last month, Superintendent Steve Al-len put out a call for community members interested in serving on the board of the Academy, a charter school sponsored by the district for at-risk students. Four eligible residents expressed interest. The school board declined to make selections at its December meeting until all four candidates supplied letters of interest and documentation of their skills and experience as they relate to the Academy position.

Two of the candidates, Donna Cooper and Joan Scofield, supplied the required information by the board’s Dec. 31 deadline. They met the requirements, and on Jan. 4 the school board chose them to fill two of the Academy board’s three open seats.

The school board asked Allen to re-contact the two candidates who did not turn in the required paperwork, Pat Thomas and Fred Kolb, extending their deadline to Jan. 31. The board also decided to open the search again, inviting community members to submit applications. The same deadline and information requirements apply. Candidates must be residents of the district but cannot have an employment connection to the district.

In her letter of interest, London resident Donna Cooper stated, “I would like to understand what London is providing for its students and their success. And I would like to be involved as London continues to help all of its students to achieve graduation and success in future employment.”

Cooper is a high school math teacher at Stebbins High School in the Mad River Local School District. She teaches everything from remedial math to Advanced Placement calculus and has served as the school’s math department chairwoman since 1990.

“In my school…we have been able to raise our graduation rate from 61 percent when I started to 91 percent now. Of course, that is not high enough for the State Report Card. We continue to provide counseling and paths for the students to achieve and do continue to explore other options,” stated Cooper, who has been with the Mad River District since 1984.

Cooper holds a bachelor of science degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Iowa State University.

Joan Scofield, director of curriculum, assessment and grants for Jefferson Local Schools, has lived in London since 1967. Her four children are London High School graduates.

Scofield’s background in education dates back to 1961 when she began her career as a teacher in Illinois. From 1968 to 1983, she taught Title I and gifted and talented students at Madison-Plains. From 1983 to 2002, she served as curriculum administrator and supervisor of preschools and gifted and talented programs through the Madison/Champaign Education Service Center; her service area included the Madison-Plains, London, Fairbanks, Westfall and West Jefferson school districts. She has worked for Jefferson Local Schools since 2002.

Scofield’s support of London City Schools has come in many forms over the years, from writing London’s first Continuous Improvement Plan to working on levy campaigns. She also has served as president, secretary and treasurer of the St. Patrick School board.

 “I believe I will be able to use my knowledge of educational programs and Ohio policies to help to successfully implement the mission of the London Academy,” Scofield wrote in her letter of interest.

Scofield holds a bachelor of arts degree in education from Webster University (St. Louis, Mo.), a master’s degree in curriculum and supervision from Wright State University, and administrative certificates from the University of Dayton.

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