LOWELL - The Fort Frye Local Board of Education said goodbye Thursday to its longest-serving current members.
During the regular board meeting, held this month at Lowell Elementary School, the board recognized David White, defeated in November in his bid for re-election after serving 37 years on the board, and Lisa Perry, who chose not to run for a fourth term. Superintendent Stephanie Starcher presented both board members with their nameplates, to which an inscription thanking them for their service had been added.
"I just want to thank you for having faith and hiring me," said Starcher, who joined the district as superintendent over the summer.
EVAN BEVINS The Marietta Times
Outgoing Fort Frye Local Board of Education members Lisa Perry, left, and David White talk prior to Thursday's board meeting in the Lowell Elementary School gymnasium.
Perry, a teacher at Marietta Middle School, said the selections of Starcher and Treasurer Stacey Bolden this year gave her optimism going forward.
"One of the most important jobs that we have as board members is to hire the superintendent and treasurer," she said. "So I feel like we're leaving the school (district) in good hands."
Perry said she decided not to run again after serving a total of three terms in 16 years because she no longer had children in the district and is busy in other aspects of her life.
- Organizational - 6 p.m. Jan. 6, Beverly-Center Elementary.
- Regular - 5 p.m. Jan. 16, Beverly-Center.
White called his last meeting "bittersweet."
"Lisa and I are leaving when things are finally starting to get straightened out," he said, also praising the administrative team.
White, who has been active with the Ohio School Boards Association and serves as the board's legislative liaison, urged the remaining board members and Lloyd Booth and Stephanie Lang, who will join the board in January, to represent the district to the state government as well.
"Get involved in lobbying, because your voice makes a difference," he said.
White thanked the community "for letting me serve all this time." He also asked the administrators to continue to send him updates for the district's policy book, copies of which he will pay for.
"I'd like to still stay involved," he said.
The board also approved the departure of another familiar face in the district: Lowell sixth-grade teacher Katherine Coppock will retire at the end of May after 30 years of service.
In other business
The board voted 5-0 to establish a house the district owns adjacent to Fort Frye High School as a rental property.
The district purchased the house at 416 Fifth St., Beverly, last year for a little more than $50,000, with an eye toward having control over the nearby property. Starcher said some cosmetic work will be done inside, and it should be available for rent around February. The district also rents out another house next door.
The board unanimously approved a $22,980 bid from Marietta-based Morrison Inc. to replace a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning unit on the roof of Beverly-Center Elementary with a unit that uses natural gas.
Board member Kevin Worthington, chairman of the buildings and grounds committee, said the existing units will continue to be replaced with natural gas ones as their compressors fail.