Leetonia BOE gets big response for vacant seat

LEETONIA- The Leetonia school board Thursday night interviewed nine candidates for the vacant seat on the board.

The board entered executive session at the end of its regular meeting to speak with each of the nine candidates seeking to replace Doug Jones, who resigned at the meeting due to moving out of the area.

Those interviewed included Rose Barkett, certified hemodialysis technician; Mike Bryan, alumnus, Salem firefighter; John Dominic, alumnus, service manager; Ron Graff, business owner within the National Grocers Association; Mike Henderson, alumnus, director of accounting at a private business; Rich Hendrichs, alumnus, manager of a privately owned business; Toni Manzetti, retired teacher; Sue Simpson, Leetonia Water Department manager; and Dan Votaw, alumnus, Lisbon teacher.

“All nine candidates offered something that would have value to the district,” board Vice President Kurt Jennings said. “We have a deep pool of capability [from which to choose].”

Jennings said the board narrowed its search to four candidates, but did not disclose their names. He said the four candidates will be interviewed in greater depth in executive session at an upcoming special meeting.

A candidate will be appointed at the regular August board meeting and will serve the remainder of the term through Dec. 31, 2015.

Jennings said he was pleased that so many residents expressed an interest in serving on the board.

“It’s a good sign,” he explained. “[The current board and administration] have created a positive awareness of what has been going on in regards to the financial situation. [The candidates] are genuinely excited at what the district has accomplished and want to roll up their sleeves…and do their part.”

Each candidate had to submit a letter of interest to be considered, and Jennings said the board is working hard to find the right fit.

“We want the public to know that we’re going to spend the time to identify who is the best candidate for the board,” he said.