The Toledo Board of Education has new leadership and is preparing to add a new face in the wake of its president resigning to serve on Toledo City Council.
Steven Steel, who had served as president of the school board since May, 2007, resigned Tuesday when he was appointed to serve the rest of Mark Sobczak's term on City Council.
His departure bumped Bob Vasquez from vice president to president and the board unanimously supported Lisa Sobecki to serve as vice president.
Both took the oath of office during a special board meeting last night.
Darlene Fisher noted that the automatic move from vice president to president violates the district's policy that calls for nominations and a vote for president.
Mr. Vasquez said the ascension was confirmed by a letter from the district's attorney that included two attorney general opinions supporting that process.
He noted Ms. Fisher's concerns, but went forward with taking the oath of office.
"If we're going to have policies we should follow them and not be selective about them," said Ms. Fisher, who is chairman of the board's policy committee.
Ms. Fisher also said publicly during the meeting and afterward that she supported Ms. Sobecki for vice president in exchange for being reappointed to the board's committee that oversees the Ohio School Facilities Commission building project.
The school board set the deadlines for filling the vacancy on its five-member board.
Applications were being accepted as of yesterday - nobody had applied as of last night's board meeting - and they should include a letter of interest along with a resume.
Applications should be directed to Mr. Vasquez's attention and can be submitted to the Board of Education office at 420 East Manhattan Blvd., faxed to 419-671-8474, or e-mailed to the board secretary, firstname.lastname@example.org.
School board applicants must live in the TPS district, be at least 18 years old, and be a registered voter.
The deadline for applications is noon Tuesday and the school board plans to interview all candidates starting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and continuing Friday morning at 8 a.m., if needed.
The school board is required to appoint a replacement no sooner than 10 days but no more than 30 days after Mr. Steel's last day, which was Tuesday.
State law specifies that if the board meets during that window, the board must choose a replacement then.
If the board doesn't fill the vacancy within a month, it will become the responsibility of the Lucas County Probate Court.
The person appointed would serve the remainder of Mr. Steel's term, which runs through the end of the year.
Mr. Steel, 46, who was elected to the school board in November, 2005, is running for an at-large seat on City Council.
Mr. Vasquez and Ms. Sobecki last night thanked Mr. Steel for his service.
Earlier yesterday, Mr. Steel said he was proud of his time on the school board and said that he hopes to use that experience to help him serve on council.
He maintains that the city, county, and schools should work together more.
"I've been an educator all my life and will remain interested in education," Mr. Steel said.
He is a former Waite High School science teacher and is an adjunct associate professor in the honors program at Bowling Green State University.
Mr. Steel said he's most proud of the district's movements toward individualized attention for students and increased communication and less dissension on the board during his term.
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