Lakota Schools board leadership voted to remain the same for year

The most veteran member of Lakota Schools’ governing board will continue to preside in 2023.

Lynda O’Connor, who has been part of the Lakota Board of Education since 2008, was chosen by the board Monday evening to continue the leadership role she held through last year.

The 2022 year was the most tumultuous in recent memory for the five-member board as it saw a series of contentious issues rock its members, sometimes creating sharp rifts among them.

Member Darbi Boddy, which often found herself in 2022 in the center of division on the board, nominated herself to be president of the board but her motion was defeated when none of her colleagues seconded her motion.

Boddy was officially censured by her fellow board members and asked by them to resign in 2022. The first-term member also saw numerous motions she proposed fail by 4-1 votes.

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Lakota board member Kelley Casper said prior to the vote on O’Connor’s presidency nomination that given the multitude of hot-button issues last year, consistency in maintaining the same leadership would be advantageous for the board.

“We’ve had a rough year, with a lot of ups and downs,” said Casper.

“We haven’t had a chance to get a whole lot of work down and we are just starting to get to that point,” said Casper, referring in part to the board’s approval of the first school facilities plan in decades in 2022′s last month.

“If we keep leadership … same as they were last year, we are on a better flow and hopefully we will be able to achieve more.”

Fellow member Isaac Adi, echoed Casper saying “it was a tough year last year.”

“I would have thought by now we would have gone far with a lot of things we planned to do with student achievement. There is a lot of stuff we need to work on after Covid,” Adi said referencing the local and national dilemma of closing the student learning gap caused in 2020 and 2021 by school disruptions from the pandemic.

A 4-1 vote, with Boddy voting “no,” saw O’Connor remain president of the board.

“Thank you for your confidence. I appreciate that,” said O’Connor, who in 2021 was chosen by the Ohio School Board Association as one of the top five board members in the state.

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Boddy also sought the vice presidency position on the board but Adi was elected to again hold that title for a second consecutive year by a 4-1 vote, with Boddy the lone opposition.

In fall 2021, the two ran on a joint campaign ticket as voters put both first-time candidates on the board for four-year terms.

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