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Chesy BOE to choose new member at Friday session

CHESAPEAKE — Replacing its third member in two years is on the agenda for Friday’s special meeting of the Chesapeake Board of Education.

Dr. Kim Oxley, who had been re-elected to her second term on the school board in November, resigned on June 18. At the time of her resignation, Oxley was serving as president of the board.

The board will appoint Oxley’s replacement following an executive session at the meeting to be held at the board office at 6 p.m., according to Carl Lilly, newly appointed board president.

In contention are former board member Art Suiter, Kenneth Ater and Doug Marcum. Suiter served with Lilly for six of the eight years Lilly was on the board from 1996-2004. Marcum ran for election to the board in November 2011.

Since Dr. Mike Dyer’s failure to meet the signature requirement to run for a second term on the school board, Oxley has often found herself in the minority when votes are cast, in opposition to board members David Bennett, Jerry Frye, Jeanne Harmon and Jerry Osborne.

Most recently, Oxley was the sole vote against the appointment of Lilly to the board after the resignation of Osborne this spring. She was also the sole vote in favor of Superintendent Dr. Scott Howard’s recommendation concerning the weighted grade status of a speech class co-taught by the school and Ohio University Southern staff.

In her resignation letter Oxley addressed that divergency.

“Over the past year and a half, I have recognized that the district is moving in a different direction with which I am not comfortable,” she wrote. “The current board members and myself have a difference in philosophy and despite many efforts I feel that further endeavors to bridge that difference will not be successful as the chasm is too wide. Not all board members hold district policies and the manner of their implementation in the same regard and have different standards of ethics that we cannot seem to reconcile. … I am ineffective not only as a board president but also as a board member. I do not feel that further service on the board would be of any benefit to the district, staff or students.”

Lilly, who only served with Oxley at one meeting, disputed her contentions.

“I disagree with the statement (about following district policies) because we have counsel to make sure we are in compliance with the Ohio State Board Association,” Lilly said.

As to Oxley’s statement concerning different standards of ethics, Lilly said, “that is a relative term.”

Phone calls made to Harmon, Bennett and Frye were not returned by press time.

Also on Friday’s agenda is whether to remain with the Lawrence County Educational Service Center or join one that serves Gallia and Vinton counties. Educational centers provide cost effective services to local school districts.

The Lawrence center serves Dawson-Bryant, Fairland, Rock Hill, South Point and Symmes Valley. It also provides contractual services to Chesapeake, Ironton and Collins Career Center.

To read the complete resignation letter of Dr. Kim Oxley, click here.