Lakota school board veteran wins top Ohio honor for service

Lynda O'Connor, the most veteran member of the Lakota Board of Education, was recently awarded the Ohio School Boards Association's (OSBA) "All-Ohio School Board Award" as one of only five members out of thousands serving on local school boards statewide. O'Connor, who joined Lakota's board in 2008, is the first from the district's governing board to win the statewide honor since 1994. Pictured is O'Connor with OSBA officials in Columbus. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
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Lynda O'Connor, the most veteran member of the Lakota Board of Education, was recently awarded the Ohio School Boards Association's (OSBA) "All-Ohio School Board Award" as one of only five members out of thousands serving on local school boards statewide. O'Connor, who joined Lakota's board in 2008, is the first from the district's governing board to win the statewide honor since 1994. Pictured is O'Connor with OSBA officials in Columbus. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

The most veteran member of Lakota Schools’ governing board has been honored as one of the top five school board members in Ohio.

Officials from the Ohio School Boards Association recently announced this year’s five winners of the All-Ohio School Board Award and presented each an award marking the honor during ceremonies in Columbus.

“I am humbled to be recognized as one of this year’s honorees for the All-Ohio School Board Award,” said Lynda O’Connor. “I’ve been very fortunate to work with so many dedicated and hardworking board members across the southwest (Ohio) region and at the state level, equally deserving of recognition.”

There are more than 3,065 publicly elected board members in Ohio’s 613 public school districts.

O’Connor is the first Lakota board member to be chosen for the statewide honor since 1994, when Donna Louise Castagnos Dolan won the honor, which was started by the OSBA in 1971.

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And O’Connor, who first took office in 2008, is the first board member from a Butler County school system to win since Edward Bosse, Jr. of Ross Schools was recognized in 2016.

“Working to advocate for a strong public education system that prepares our students for the future has been a major priority for me at the local, state and national level during my 21-years of collective board experience with Lakota and Butler Tech,” she said.

“The future of our nation depends on the success of our entire educational system to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to meet their fullest potential.”

O’Connor — and four other board members — oversee the 17,000-student Lakota Schools, which is the largest suburban district in southwest Ohio and the ninth most populous school system in the state.

In October, she also won the OSBA Southwest Region’s 2021 Al Kettlewell Award. The award, named after a former educational leader in the region, is given to a board member to honor their outstanding service.

O’Connor is also president-elect of the Ohio School Board Association Southwest Regional Executive Committee and serves as one of two Ohio Congressional District 8 representatives to the National School Boards Association Federal Relations Network.

O’Connor, who began serving on Lakota’s Board of Education in 2008, is actively involved in supporting West Chester and Liberty townships, which comprise the school system’s enrollment area.

Lakota Board of Education President Kelley Casper said O’Connor is more than deserving.

“This is a prestigious award and we are glad that all of Mrs. O’Connor’s time and dedication to Lakota has been recognized at the state level,” said Casper. “Unwavering support from board members like Mrs. O’Connor is what makes Lakota strong.”

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