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Copley-Fairlawn school board conducts annual business

1/23/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Ariel Hakim

Originally planned for Jan. 7, cold weather called for rescheduling the Copley-Fairlawn City Schools Board of Education’s annual organizational meeting, along with its regular meeting, which was held Jan. 14.

During the meeting, members Sue Emich, Richard Levin and Jessica Vargo, all re-elected in the General Election last fall, were sworn in by fellow member Ken Calderone.

Emich was elected president for 2014 and Vargo as vice president. Emich also was appointed as the official delegate to the Ohio School Boards Association Annual Business Meeting, with Vargo serving as alternate.

The board distributed liaison assignments as follows: Emich, building and grounds; Levin, academics/student achievement; Vargo, community relations; and Calderone, technology. Calderone also volunteered to serve as the board’s legislative liaison in the interim, with a new board member hopefully stepping into that role soon, he said.

The board also established its schedule of regular meetings for 2014, to be held generally on the third Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m.

Other annual housekeeping items included establishing a $5,000 service fund for the board; designating the West Side Leader as the official publication for posting legal advertisements; authorizing performance bonds of $50,000 each for the board president, superintendent and treasurer; and employing several firms as legal counsel for the calendar year.

Also at the meeting, the board awarded contracts for roof replacement and renovations to Boak and Sons Roofing for Copley-Fairlawn Middle School (CFMS) for $787,965 and to Industrial Energy Systems for Arrowhead Primary School for $272,500.

The board also accepted donations, including $17,170 from CFMS PTSA to purchase 30 iPads and a cart; $1,500 from Wal-Mart for the fourth-grade volunteer program for Herberich Primary School; and $500 from an anonymous donor for the Leveled Reading Room at Fort Island Primary School.

In other business, the board officially accepted the resignation of 14-year board member Julie Schafer, who occupied a front row seat in the audience. Schafer resigned from her board seat due to being elected judge for Akron Municipal Court this past fall.

Treasurer John Wheadon said the board received 10 applications for the open seat. During an executive session later that evening, the board conducted interviews of three of the applicants, but no decision was made that evening, according to Wheadon.

During a special meeting Jan. 16, the board chose Paul Cevasco to fill the vacancy. [For more on that, see related story on Page 9.]

Also at the meeting Jan. 14, Superintendent Brian Poe thanked Schafer, along with the other board members, noting January is School Board Recognition Month.

“I want to thank you for everything you do,” he said. “I don’t believe you do get enough recognition for your efforts and your time.”

To Schafer, he said the board has large shoes to fill.

“I hope they can find someone with the passion and dedication you show,” he said.

Schafer said she will miss serving on the board and has received her thanks by witnessing the graduation of Copley students. Last year, the high school’s graduation rate was 100 percent, she said.

“To be from Copley means something,” she said. “To be able to contribute to that, I’m just grateful to have had that opportunity.”

The board will hold its next regular meeting Feb. 18 at 6 p.m., in the Copley High School Conference Room, 3797 Ridgewood Road.

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