SUNBURY — The Big Walnut Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting earlier this month in the high school auditorium.
Past president and President Pro Tempore Doug Crowl was nominated by member Angela Graziosi to again be school board president. This was seconded by member Alice Nicks.
Member Sherri Dorsch nominated Steve Fujii to be president. Crowl received a majority of votes, and Fujii said no separate vote was needed for his candidacy.
Nicks nominated Graziosi to be vice president; Crowl nominated Fujii, who withdrew. Crowl then seconded Graziosi, who received a majority of votes. Treasurer Darren Jenkins then swore Crowl and Graziosi in, with Superintendent Ryan McLane looking on.
Graziosi asked to add the National School Board Leadership Council to the list of board memberships for the calendar year and to take separate votes on each membership. Normally, all memberships are voted on together.
The NSBLC’s website said it has been “helping school board members since 2014” through “education not indoctrination: we help school boards achieve their goals by focusing on elevating the academics and leaving social-emotional development to parents.”
The vote to join NSBLC passed 3-2-1, with Dorsch and Fujii voting no, and student board representative Sophia Erndt voted to abstain.
Remaining on the Ohio School Board Association was approved by a 4-0-2 vote, with Graziosi and Nicks voting to abstain. The OSBA Legal Assistance Fund was approved by a similar vote. Jenkins said the board had been on it before, and “sometimes it’s about who you have on your side.”
Passing unanimously were memberships to the Big Walnut Area Chamber of Commerce as well as the purchasing cooperatives META Solutions and E & I Cooperative Services.
School board members are asked to volunteer on various committees and to represent the district before governing bodies. Votes are not needed on appointments.
Graziosi proposed adding a representative to the Ohio Statehouse. Dorsch and Fujii questioned the need for this, saying any board member should be able to attend a legislative session. Crowl said it could be taken up at a future meeting.
The board also approved the following meeting dates for the year, with the remaining meetings held at 6:30 p.m. in the District Administrative Office, 110 Tippett Ct., Sunbury: Feb. 16, March 16, April 19, May 18, June 15, June 29 (at 7:30 a.m.), July 20, Aug. 17, Sept. 20, Oct. 19, Nov. 16 and Dec. 14.
The board then approved authorization for the board president to sign grant applications without board approval to expedite the process. Also approved was establishment of a service fund of $7,500 “to provide for the expenses actually incurred by Board members in the performance of their duties in accordance with Section 3315.15 O.R.C.,” the minutes said.
In other board action, the board approved duty authorizations by the superintendent and treasurer; authorizing the law firm of Bricker and Eckler to represent the board; with five hours of pro bono legal services provided by McGown Markling, Attorneys at Law.