Connie Fought is honored for Lakewood service
HEBRON - Lakewood school board members honored the memory of one of their own at last Wednesday's business meeting. The meeting began with a moment of silence for board member Connie Fought, who passed away the week before following "a courageous battle" with cancer.
Board members Tim Spitzer, Joe Bowman Jr., Judy White and Forrest Cooperrider called Fought - a two-term board member - a great friend of the Lakewood district.
"She was an influential member of this district for decades," Bowman said. "She had such a passion for what she was doing and will be missed."
White thanked the rest of the board, on Fought's behalf, for supporting Fought through her illness. "Thank you for staying steadfast with Connie… for understanding her situation."
According to board policy and the Ohio School Board Association (OSBA), the school board has to fillFought's seat on the board within 30 days of it becoming open. There are two years left on her term. Board members are asking district residents to submit letters of interest for the board position to Superintendent Jay Gault by 4 p.m. Friday Dec. 21. Interviews will be conducted in a closed executive session the following day at the Lakewood administrative office.
In other business, the board unanimously passed a resolution to proceed with a five-year emergency levy renewal. First approved in 2003, the levy brings in more than $2 million for Lakewood annually. The issue will appear on the March ballot, as it did when it failed in November, as a "renewal plus increase" because it includes tangible personal property tax reimbursement from the state, not an increase to residents.
Treasurer Glenna Plaisted said the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has asked Lakewood to provide a plan to address a budget deficitlooming in FY2010. Plaisted said she requested a 45 day extension on the plan, to see results of the proposed levy, giving Lakewood until March 24 to submit it.
Plaisted also said the district's audit is complete and was "clean." Gault said Lakewood's website is officially active. Log on to www. lakewoodlocal.k12.oh.us to review it. Audit results are posed on-line, as well.
Board members also:
• Approved participation in the Metropolitan Educational Council's natural gas program for fiveyears under terms negotiated by the Ohio School Consortium.
• Approved a Club Wrestling Team due to insufficientnumbers at the junior high level.
• Approved the following supplemental contracts: Don Thorp, head baseball coach; Criss Nadolson, head softball coach; Rex Carr, varsity boys track coach; Jeff Hartman, varsity girls track coach; Sarah Robinson, assistant girls track coach; Ryan Gargasz, middle school boys track; Jason Boland, reserve baseball; James 'Bo' Hanson, assistant varsity softball; Jessica McConnell, reserve softball; Amy Nadolson, reserve softball.
• Approved the retirement of Jonathon Carroll, effective July 1, 2008. Gault said Carroll has been with the district since 1998.
• Will meet in regular session again on Jan. 9. An organizational meeting will begin at 6:15, followed by the regular meeting at 6:30 p.m.
Board members presented parting gifts and a certificateof appreciation to Spitzer, whose four-year term expires this month. Bowman called Spitzer "an asset to the board and the community."
Spitzer said "It's been an interesting four years. I wish this board the best. It's made up of good people. There are real challenges ahead of you, as every school board is facing."