VANDALIA — The Vandalia-Butler Board of Education appointed Melissa Pruszynski to its vacant seat on Tuesday evening.
Pruszynski, who is employed by the City of Vandalia as the Deputy Clerk of Council and Secretary to the City Manager, was one of four people who sent letters of interest to the Board before its 8 a.m. Monday deadline.
She fills the vacant seat created by the death of Board President Bruce Sucher.
“The board came together in tough times and made a great choice,” said Vandalia-Butler City Schools Superintendent Bradley Neavin. “I think Missy is going to be excellent for us. It’s interesting that in developing our strategic plan the one section Bruce was pushing himself was developing new board members and he said we needed to target parents, especially younger parents with children in the schools. Now here we are with someone who knew Bruce since she was eight years old. That’s a good story.”
Per the Ohio Revised Code, the Board was required to appoint a new member at its next regular meeting following the vacancy but not less than 10 days since the vacancy occurred.
Pruszynski will fill the remainder of Sucher’s term which ends on Dec. 31, 2017. That seat, along with two others, are up for election in November. As of Tuesday afternoon, no candidate has picked up or filed petitions to declare as a candidate for those seats according to the Montgomery County Board of Election.
Others who sent letters of inquiry to the Board included Barbara Temple, John Wheeler, and Bud Zupp.
“I would love the opportunity to serve on the Board of Education because I want to help carry out Bruce’s vision,” said Pruszynski. “I am a district native, graduated from Butler High School, and this is the community that I call home and I choose for my children to attend school. I want to be an integral part of the district and be able to relay to the community important information that involves administration and education. It’s my turn to give back to a community that has afforded my family so many opportunities.”
Prior to the meeting, the Board asked those in attendance to take a moment to remember Sucher and the contributions he made to the school district and the community as a whole.
“When we have had times of crisis, the community has really stepped up to support us, whether that be the loss of a child or Bruce’s death,” said Neavin. “We received flowers, phone calls, cards of condolence, a lot of support from the community. It’s been difficult – Bruce was a close personal friend as well as being an excellent board member and we suffered a loss like anyone would. We are grateful to the community for their support during this very tough time.”
Board Vice President Mary Kilsheimer cited family issues that require her to be out of state a significant amount in declining to become the board’s president. Bob Cupp was nominated to serve as President of the Board and was approved unanimously.
In other action, the Board approved two new math classes at Butler High School: Calculus and Probability & Statistics.
The Board also entered into a contract extension with the Auditor of State for annual audit services at a cost of $18,000.
A donation of $500 was made and accepted by the Board from Premier Health on behalf of an anonymous donor to the vocal music department.
The Board also approved fees for the Summer Aviator BASE Camp. The fees increased slightly for the first time in six years with a $5 increase for the first child. There was no fee increase in the registration fee or fees for additional children.
The Board also approved the Student Code of Conduct and Student Handbooks for each school for the 2017-18 school year and also made several changes to its board policies.