By Dedra Cordle
The South-Western City Schools Board of Education has a new member.
At the Aug. 22 meeting, the board appointed Robert Ragland Sr. to fill the seat left by the resignation of Randy Reisling on Aug. 5.
President Cathy Johnson said she believes that Ragland will be an asset to the district and to the board.
“Mr. Ragland possesses qualities which will compliment those of current board members in both knowledge and life experience,” said Johnson.
Though Ragland will be a new face on the board, he is well known by those heavily involved in the school community.
Since moving to the district in the mid 1990s, Ragland and his wife, Sheila, have been staples in the Parent Teacher Association.
Motivated to join the PTA as their son, Robert Ragland Jr., started attending schools in the district, Ragland has played many roles in the organization.
He served as treasurer for the West Franklin Elementary PTA, the Franklin Heights High School PTA and the district’s PTA Council. In addition to serving as president of the FHHS PTA, he also served as the Reflections Chair.
Ragland also has a history of volunteering on various committees such as the Community Advisory Group, which provided input to the administration from a community perspective and he was a parent representative on the Ohio Graduation Test Range Finding Committee.
For many years, Ragland said he was content in his role on “the other side of the board,” but expressed as interest in a seat on the board of education when he ran for a vacant seat in 2013.
Though he withdrew his name before Election Day, the interest lingered and he submitted a resume when he heard of the vacant seat.
“I figured I had nothing to lose,” said Ragland, who also works as a financial accounting technician with the United States Department of Defense.
Shortly after his interview, he was informed of the offer to serve on the board of education. Ragland said he is looking forward to the opportunity.
“I’ve been on the other side for so many years and now I get to see what’s it’s like on this side,” he said.
He said his goal during his term, which will run through Dec. 31, 2017, is to increase communication with the community and continue to be a steward of student advocacy.