The Olentangy Schools Board of Education is whole once more as Libby Wallick has been tabbed to fill the seat of Mindy Patrick, who resigned from her position in May.
Wallick was sworn in during the board’s meeting on June 23 after being selected from a pool of 28 applicants. She will serve the remaining 18 months of Patrick’s term, which expires on Dec. 31, 2023.
A resident in the district for nearly five years, Wallick brings an extensive background in education to the board, having taught in both K-12 and higher education. She is currently a professor in the department of education and psychology at Columbus State Community College.
Wallick holds a bachelor’s degree in middle-level education from the University of Akron, a master’s degree in education from Franciscan University of Steubenville, as well as a Doctor of Philosophy degree in teacher leadership from Concordia University Chicago.
In addition to her appointment to the board, Wallick has also served as a member of the Olentangy Schools Redistricting Committee and on the board of the Olentangy Education Foundation, among other groups.
Wallick had considered running for Olentangy Schools Board of Education for a few years but said she first wanted to finish her dissertation and complete her Ph.D. before pursuing the next challenge. After graduating in May, Wallick had set her eyes on running for the board seat when it became vacant in 2023.
“The fact that it became open a little sooner presented an interesting opportunity, so I went for it,” Wallick told The Gazette.
Asked if there are any particular areas she hopes to address as she begins filling the term, Wallick noted the district’s strong financial standing and the importance of continuing to be good stewards of the community’s money.
“Number one is we have a huge fiscal responsibility to the stakeholders across the district,” Wallick said. “We are in a really great financial position right now, truly. If anyone has spent time looking at the five-year forecast, the way that we have stretched that last levy, we are in great shape financially … I think that’s one of the things we’re doing great at, and I want that to continue.
Wallick added, “Also to that end, I think (Treasurer) Emily Hatfield does a great job with transparency and keeping everyone very informed about where we stand financially, making sure that information is readily available. But I think in other ways, we could probably do better when it comes to transparency and ensuring parents feel informed and feel that they’re actively engaged in their child’s learning experience overall.”
Wallick went on to say that while the district has a number of measures already in place, the work of ensuring that every child feels safe and promoting healthy outlooks on mental health needs to continue throughout the district.
She also pointed to the academic rigor found in the district, saying, “There’s a reason I sought this district out. The opportunities that would be afforded to my daughters here compared to other districts, it was just kind of a no-brainer to me.”