Video profiles of Lakota board members helping with coronavirus communications

Lakota Schools' new video profile series helps the governing board stay closer to the public it serves, say school officials. The short video profiles available on the district's website are highlighting each of Lakota's five board members through a communications method not tried before in the region. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)
Lakota Schools' new video profile series helps the governing board stay closer to the public it serves, say school officials. The short video profiles available on the district's website are highlighting each of Lakota's five board members through a communications method not tried before in the region. (Provided Photo\Journal-News)

The Lakota school district is taking a unique approach during the coronavirus in helping residents learn more about the people overseeing the community’s public schools.

For the first time among Butler County school districts, a series of short videos is being broadcast online on Lakota’s five school board members.

“It is our hope that the members of our community will learn a little bit more about each of our five members, why they decided to join the board and what their hopes are for the district,” said Lakota Spokeswoman Betsy Fuller.

Ohio’s local school boards govern public schools and hire the superintendent and school district treasurer.

The board members are elected to four-year terms and make the final decisions on millions of dollars of operating funds while also governing the operation of a local school districts administration.

At 16,800 students, Lakota is the largest district in Butler County and the biggest suburban school system in southwest Ohio with an annual budget of $175 million for 22 school buildings.

Fuller said the video series premiered last month and focused on Lakota’s newest school board member, Michael Pearl, who was appointed to the board in September.

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Member Julie Shaffer’s video recently was released on the Lakota website.

She said each newsletter through December will debut a new video.

Lakota Board of Education President Brad Lovell praised the unusual video series, saying it would “build a strong relationship between our community, the district and the board.”

Lovell said the social distancing restrictions forced by the coronavirus, which has limited the public attendance of twice-monthly school board meetings, helped prompt the creation of the videos.

“When Betsy’s team approached us about doing a new series to help the community get to know their board better it was a no brainer. In fact, since we are engaging less (face to face) with our community due to the pandemic, I am thrilled our communications team has created this unique way to help build relationship with our community,” he said.

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