DARKE COUNTY – Governor John Kasich has designated January as School Board Recognition Month for the state of Ohio. This recognition will honor elected officials who serve the public education system above and beyond what their compensation merits, said Carla Surber, treasurer of the Greenville City School District.
The maximum a board member might receive is $2,125 per year, for putting in approximately 400 hours a year, said Surber. That comes to about $5.31 per hour, less than minimum wage, Surber commented.
“It’s not unusual for us to have 50 meetings a year, with an average length of about two to three hours per meeting,” Surber stated. “It becomes very much volunteerism, even though they receive some compensation, that compensation is not commensurate to the amount of time they spend.”
There are more than 3,400 school board members across the state of Ohio, said Kasich’s office. Darke County contributes 40 to that number, and superintendents throughout the county recognized the continued efforts of the boards of education at their regular monthly meetings.
“The primary role of the board is actually to set policy for the school district,” said Surber. “They hire two positions in the school district directly, the superintendent and treasurer, and the rest of it they delegate to the superintendent to manage, with their approval.”
According to Surber, the board has the final say on most everything a district does, which is why they’re elected by their communities, she said. The board is entitled to any information that may help them drive their decisions for the district, said Surber.
For the most part, the superintendent and treasurer simply bring forth their recommendations and the board reviews those recommendations and will typically approve them, but they also have the right to deny them if they think something is not in the best interest of the district’s students, Surber commented.
“I’ve never known a board member who doesn’t give it their full commitment,” Surber said. “I’m just thankful there are people that are willing to take on the time commitment for the good of the children…It’s a huge time commitment for most people.”
Ansonia Local School District board members include Theresa Siefring, Don Moyers, Clarence Kammer, Eugene Mayo and Rhonda Williams.
The board members for Arcanum-Butler Local School District include Ed Everman, Tracy Fout, Lonnie Norris, Mark Trask and Bev Delk.
The board members for Bradford Exempted Village Local School District are Dr. Scott Swabb, Mike Miller, Rod Kaiser, Carolyn Smith and Maria Brewer.
The board members for Franklin-Monroe Local School District are Scott Myers, Karen Bucholtz, Mike Fietshans, Dana Heckman and Dean Thompson.
The board members for Greenville City School District include Sue Bowman, Fred Matix, Cindy Scott, James Sommer and Ben Studabaker.
The board members for Mississinawa Valley Local School District are Rick Scholl, Daren Hiatt, Dale Breymier, Lori Cox and Tony Maloy.
The board members for Tri-Village Local School District include Tim Bevins, Tom Schlechty, Darin Dubbs, Tracy Frech, and Kevin Harrison.
The board members for Versailles Exempted Village Local School District are Ron Gehret, Gwenn Barga, Angie Bruns, Tom Ording and Steve Ruhenkamp.
The Ohio School Board’s Association is in its 58th year, leading the way to “educational excellence by serving Ohio’s public school board members and the diverse districts they represent through superior services, unwavering advocacy, and creative solutions.
Watch for an upcoming series on each of the school districts school boards in upcoming editions of The Daily Advocate.