New Lakota board member sworn in early

Isaac Adi, left, is sworn in early to Lakota School Board by school board member Lynda O'Connor before the meeting Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 at Lakota Plains Junior School in Liberty Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

caption arrowCaption
Isaac Adi, left, is sworn in early to Lakota School Board by school board member Lynda O'Connor before the meeting Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021 at Lakota Plains Junior School in Liberty Township. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

One of the newly elected members of Lakota Schools’ governing board got an early start Thursday on being sworn into office.

Isaac Adi, a first-time candidate who won one of the three contested Lakota Board of Education seats in November, took his oath of office earlier than the traditional early January time frame for such action.

Adi, who will not officially begin his four-year term as a school board member until Jan. 1, said he requested the current board swear him in as was his personal preference.

“I just want to get ready to start work on day one,” said Adi.

The oil industry executive, who ran as a political conservative in winning a seat on the five-member board, said his biggest priority “is to make sure the focus will be on students” and their academic success.

“And the community will be involved and will involve taxpayers, parents … because it’s all about the students,” said Adi.

He said the new board, which will also include his campaign partner and fellow conservative Darbi Boddy, will do things “the right way” and “be professional.”

The current board was the target of a lawsuit, which was settled earlier this year, referring to allegations the board did not adequately meet some Ohio public meeting laws.

ExploreJudge rules Lakota school board violated Ohio public meeting laws

And in October the board was named in a separate lawsuit alleging free speech violations by a school parent.

ExploreLakota parent, sheriff’s deputy sues school board for freedom of speech violation

Adi and Boddy two ran together and one of their shared campaign mailers summed up their key positions by stating: “return to academic excellence;” “supports parental authority regarding medical freedom of choice;” “against Critical Race Theory” and “against progressive sex education.”

ExploreLakota board election sees conservative shift, Edgewood school issues propel 2 newcomers into leadership

Lakota officials have contended Critical Race Theory is not taught in the 17,000-student district.

Adi did not address the current board, nor the meeting audience beyond thanking them.

The meeting also marked the last board gathering for one-term member Brad Lovell, who did not run for re-election and Michael Pearl, who lost in November’s election.

Current board President Kelley Casper won re-election in November.

The new board’s first meeting, which will include the annual organizational actions - where board president and vice-president are voted on by members and committee assignments are made - will be either Jan. 10 or Jan. 11.

A date, which will allow all district officials to attend, will be chosen and announced later, said Casper.

(Photographer Nick Graham contributed to this story)

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