Communities, Elsie, Features, Ovid

O-E School Board of Education Special Meeting

by Dawn D Levey

OVID-ELSIE – A special meeting of the Ovid-Elsie Board of Education was
held for the purpose of interviewing candidates for the vacancy on the Board of Education made available due to the resignation of board member Dayna Bancroft at the May school board meeting.

The forum was open to the public. Each candidate was given thirty minutes
to respond to eighteen questions. Each board member participated in the interview process. It was noted that there were no school administrators present.

Eric Jones, president, noted that 4 affirmative votes are required to seat a
school board member, and if consensus is not made the Clinton County RESA will fill the vacancy. Dr. David Huff nominated, Don Moore for the vacancy, supported by Eric Jones. The nomination failed. Next, Kevin Nash was nominated by Josh Miller, supported by Erin Bancroft. The nomination again failed. Mary Thompson was nominated by Eric Jones, supported by Brooke Wooley. Mary Thompson was affirmed by the board.

The mandated resolution was read and passed, appointing Mrs. Thompson to the Ovid-Elsie Board of Education. The oath of office was given to Mrs. Mary Thompson. The term will run until December 31, 2022. Here are a few of the candidates responses to questions from the board.

Don Moore, member of the community since 1998. Has a degree in accounting and has worked for a law firm, understanding municipal law; insurance company experience, and currently works with a multitude of financial institutions and looks at the big picture. Willing to make those difficult decisions. He has a focus on volunteering and supporting the kids in the community. Don believes he is a true adopted Marauder. Appeared to have strong beliefs in the importance of working as a team and once decisions are made to support those decisions.

Janelle Keebler, district resident with three children in the district. Has a bachelors degree in education and a master’s degree in administration, serves on various boards. She wants to be part of the solution and change. As a member of the school board understands that it’s the superintendent’s boss. Also, believes that as a member of the school board one must be part of a team working collaboratively with one another and the school administration. Having children within the district is a positive way to promote Ovid-Elsie. Janelle has a belief that safety in our District is a priority. Educational background differentiates her from the other candidates.

Mary (Ehlert) Thompson, has family ties to the community since 1972. A local business woman with a strong belief in being financially responsible. She has taken two classes with the Michigan Association of School Boards, educating herself as to the responsibilities of a school board member. She believes that the board is the voice of the community and the liaison between the two. The job of board members is to hold the superintendent accountable. She believes in upholding current policies but being open to changes if necessary. She also believes communication between the board and community needs to improve. Asking questions is a must. She feels qualified for the position, does not like debt and is willing to work with people on issues where they may disagree. Ended with a prepared statement expressing her devotion to the community.

Kevin Nash, local agribusiness person, rural resident, four children who have graduated from Ovid-Elsie. Over the past few months has developed an interest in the policies within the district. The past few months has prompted interest and the need for transparency. Believes the board is the superintendent’s boss, and has a responsibility to hold him accountable. Transparency is essential on the part of the Board of Education. Their role is to represent the public and community. Changes at the state and local level could be getting back to the basics—hands on skills. Old-fashioned values important, and communication with the public. The district needs to be financially responsible. “There are winners and losers, and not everyone gets a trophy,” Majority decisions rule. Willing to learn and serve.

Four very qualified applicants that apparently all have a passion for Ovid-Elsie Area Schools and the desire to serve. All were thanked for participating in the process.

Cover Photo

Newly appointed OE School Board Member, Mary Thompson signs her paperwork accepting her appointment and oath of office. Looking on is OE Administrative Assistant, Crystal Loynes.