By Kevin Kelley
Deborah Tidwell, a longtime volunteer with the Ohio Parent Teachers Association, was appointed to the Fairview Park City Schools Board of Education Jan. 27.
Tidwell succeeds Tim Meseros, who resigned at the beginning of January, and will serve the remainder of his term, which runs through 2015.
Tidwell currently serves as the interim district advisor on the Ohio PTA Board of Directors, a position that involves development of leadership workshops, as well as strategic planning, event planning, state and local relations, and communications.
Tidwell also served as treasurer for the Fairview Park Schools Committee PAC and chairwoman of the Fairview High School Boys Soccer Boosters. She was recognized as the Fairview Park Youth Association’s Volunteer of the Year in 2006. Tidwell worked in the district as a substitute secretary from 1998 to 2002.
“I look forward to working with my fellow board members to continue the Fairview Park tradition of excellence,” Tidwell said in a statement. “Together, we are eager to provide our young learners with opportunities that will help them achieve and grow.”
Often, several people will submit applications when vacancies arise on school boards or city councils, but few newcomers show interest in running in an election. Following this board vacancy, eight other individuals besides Tidwell submitted applications for the vacant position – Carol Akel, Tanya Foose, Tim Grealis, Timothy Jackson, Lisa Large, Katherine Ann Munteau, Iken Sans and Jim Shea. Foose finished third, behind Joslyn Dalton and Mark St. John, in the Nov. 5 election to choose two board members. Katie Davis ran unopposed in the race to finish the uncompleted term of Brad Lamb.
School board President Joe Shucofsky told West Life that Tidwell was selected because of her experience with the school district.
“She’s been involved in the schools and the community for many years,” he said.
Although nine applied for the vacant seat, the board interviewed only five because of time constraints, Shucofsky said.
“We wanted the new board member to participate in the first meeting that initiated the superintendent search,” the board president explained. Superintendent Brion Deitsch is retiring at the end of July.
The Ohio School Boards Association is leading the candidate search for the district. The formal job announcement is expected to be published next week, Shucofsky said.
The district plans to hold forums with teachers, staff members and parent support groups to hear what qualities they would like to see in the next superintendent, the school board president said. A forum for the general public is also planned, Shucofsky said.
“We’re going to be obtaining information from all these different stakeholders to assist us in this search,” he said.
Board members have not yet established any specific criteria for superintendent candidates, Shucofsky said, other than to get the best person for the district.
“We don’t want just an adequate superintendent; we want a phenomenal superintendent,” the board president said.
By the end of March, the board will review candidates’ applications that have been prescreened by the OSBA, Shucofsky said. The current goal is to select the new superintendent in late May, he added.