A Message from the Board of Education
The Board of Education is committed to working with the community which owns these outstanding public schools, and the staff and administration that make a daily commitment to the betterment of every child.
Board Accepting Applications for Susan Vlcek’s Vacated Seat
The Board of Education is accepting applications to fill the vacated seat of Board vice president Susan Vlcek. Vlcek’s resignation is effective January 1, 2014. By Ohio Law, the Board must fill the vacated seat within 30 days of the effective resignation date.
To be eligible to be appointed to the Board of Education, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age, reside in the Medina City School District, and have been registered to vote for the past 30 days.
Applications will be available beginning December 6 and can be obtained at the Board Office by calling Noreen Paffumi at 330-636-3010, visiting the Board Office at 140 West Washington Street between 8:00-11:00 AM and 12:00 – 3:00 PM, or by emailing email@example.com. Applications are due to the Board Office by 4:00 PM, Friday, January 3.
The Board will determine the interview timeline at its January 6 organizational meeting. At the organizational meeting, new board members are sworn into office, board members determine the various committees they will each serve as representatives; set the meeting schedule for the year; and, act on other appropriate business.
The Board encourages applications from candidates who seek to assist the board in maintaining educational excellence. For questions regarding board service, individuals can contact any current board member. Board member emails can be found on the “Meet Your Board of Education” page on the district web site at www.medinabees.org.
Following is information provided by the Ohio School Board Association for individuals interested in serving on a school board.
The board member
Ohio’s school board members, one of the largest groups of elected officials in the state, are charged with one of the major responsibilities in government — to provide the best educational opportunities possible for the youth of Ohio and to manage and control the political subdivision of the school district.
What does a school board member do?
Once a person has met the qualifications, been properly nominated, duly elected and officially sworn in, his or her real job begins. No one can know the pressures, politics and satisfactions of such a position until he or she has had the experience of serving on a board of education.
A school board sets educational goals and establishes policy for the school system based on state laws and community values. Perhaps the most important responsibility of a school board is to employ a superintendent and treasurer and hold them accountable for achieving those educational goals and managing the day-to-day affairs of the district in accordance with the school board’s policies.
Another important part of the board’s work is its public relations role. School board members help build public support and understanding of public education, and lead the public in demanding quality education. The school board serves as a link between schools and the public.
Board member responsibilities
The role and function of board members often are misinterpreted by the public, and in some cases, by board members themselves. The board is a policymaking body and members are the chief advisors to the superintendent on community attitudes. Board members do not manage the day-to-day operations of a school district; they see to it that the system is managed well by professionals.
Board members are not education professionals. They do not evaluate staff, other than the superintendent and treasurer, nor do they become involved in employment interviews, other than those of the superintendent, business manager and treasurer. Board members may be consulted during the hiring process for other positions, such as assistant superintendent.
A good board member
We often hear that one person is a good board member or another is a bad board member, and yet we seldom hear a clear definition of what constitutes a “good” board member.
In reality, there are about as many philosophical theories about boardmanship as there are board members. However, there are some acceptable guidelines. Members must recognize that seldom do two persons react to the same problem in an identical manner, so flexibility is necessary.
As a start, the following guidelines are offered. A good board member:
In order to run for the board, you must be:
Conflicts of interest
There are conflicts of interest which all board members must be aware of so as not to jeopardize their reputation or the reputation of the school district. In addition to actions and relationships prohibited by the school statutes, other prohibitions are set out in criminal statutes and statutes enforced by the Ohio Ethics Commission. Please note that these statutes need to be read together. Even though under one statute there may not be a conflict, there could be a conflict under another.
Among the statutory prohibitions are the following:
• No member shall have, directly or indirectly, any pecuniary interest in any contract of the board or be employed for compensation by the board of which he or she is a member (Ohio Revised Code Section (RC) 3313.33).
The above listing is neither all-inclusive nor does it list the many exceptions to these rules. They also are subject to interpretation by the courts, the Ohio attorney general’s office and the Ohio Ethics Commission. If you think that you may have a potential conflict of interest, please check with your district counsel, county prosecutor, city law director or the Ohio Ethics Commission at (614) 466-7090.
Compatibility of public offices and positions
It is possible that if you already are a public employee or officeholder, a position on a board of education may be incompatible with your current position. Before seeking election, potential candidates should make certain they are eligible to serve. An index of compatibility of offices opinions is available on the Ohio attorney general’s website. Contact the Ohio attorney general or OSBA for more information.
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