Lakota school board member resigns, cites coming move out of district

Veteran Lakota school board member Todd Parnell unexpectedly resigned from his seat Wednesday. Parnell, who was in his second, four-year term on the board, cited personal reasons for departing the board before the end of his term. (File Photo\Journal-News)
Veteran Lakota school board member Todd Parnell unexpectedly resigned from his seat Wednesday. Parnell, who was in his second, four-year term on the board, cited personal reasons for departing the board before the end of his term. (File Photo\Journal-News)

A two-term member of the Lakota school board announced his resignation Wednesday.

The resignation by Lakota Board of Education member Todd Parnell was accepted by the board, which met in emergency session.

The Journal-News has exclusively learned Parnell’s departure is due to his pursuit of a new job opportunity that will see him move outside of the Lakota district, which includes West Chester and Liberty townships.

Ohio law does not allow elected school board members who do not reside in the school system to be a member of a board.

Parnell, a six-year veteran of the board, said he wished he could stay but new circumstances won’t allow it.

“This has been a very trying year and due to business issues along with family obligations (and) I do not feel I can give the proper time and energy that being a board member requires,” Parnell said in his resignation letter to board members. “Therefore, I am resigning my position on the Lakota School Board effective at midnight tonight.”

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The board, which called a rare emergency meeting this afternoon, immediately went into executive session and later returned to a public portion of its meeting to announce the acceptance of Parnell’s resignation.

“I have enjoyed my six-plus years on the board and truly feel I made a difference for the district, students and the community. I hope my accomplishments, with the wonderful board members I have worked with, are appreciated,” wrote Parnell in his letter to his former colleagues.

He told the Journal-News he was grateful to serve on the board but wasn’t planning of staying in the elected office.

“I am most proud of the fiscal success (of Lakota) and for bringing in (superintendent) Matt Miller. My second term was ending next year and I was not going to run for re-election,” he said.

Under Ohio law, school boards have 30 days to receive applications to fill the vacant seat, conduct interviews and then vote to appoint a new member to serve out the remainder of the departing member’s term.

Elected board members serve four-year terms.

Board of education applicants must be a U.S. citizen, reside within the school district for at least 30 days and be of 18 years of age.

Other qualifications are determined by local school boards who advertise for applicants, review candidate qualifications and then interview the applicants they choose.

Ohio school boards oversee public school districts, hire a superintendent and treasurer, approve policies and makes the final decisions on how to spend millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money regarding the operation of local schools.

School board members’ pay per meeting ranges from $80 to $125.