A retired teacher was appointed to the Toledo Board of Education Monday in a compromise among board members.
Brenda Hill, 62, was selected by a 3-1 vote to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Steven Steel.
Ms. Hill will serve the remaining months of Mr. Steel's term, which expires at the end of the year. He resigned when appointed to Toledo City Council.
Ms. Hill, who is an endorsed Democrat in the November election for the school board, was sworn in at the end of the meeting and cast her first vote to adjourn the meeting.
She said she was very proud and happy to join the board.
"I feel that because I had been in the classroom, I understand the impacts the board makes on the teacher and the student," she said. "My goal is to give the students the best education possible."
Ms. Hill was one of three people nominated for the seat yesterday out of the 10 who interviewed last week. Eleven had applied to fill the vacancy.
Board member Jack Ford nominated Aji Green, a former Chrysler worker who also is an endorsed Democrat in the upcoming election, and Darlene Fisher suggested Carolyn Eyre, a Toledo minister who ran for the school board three times in the 1990s.
Ms. Fisher voted against Ms. Hill's appointment because she wanted someone who is not running in the November election.
After voting on all three nominations, including Ms. Hill's, who was nominated by board member Lisa Sobecki, none got the needed three majority votes.
That's when Mr. Ford said that although he backs Mr. Green and has supported his campaign, he would support Ms. Hill in order to make an appointment.
He said she was a "great candidate" and he didn't want the board to go back to its older factions.
Ms. Hill initially had two votes with Ms. Sobecki and board President Bob Vasquez. Mr. Green and Mr. Eyre each only had one vote, from their nominators.
If Mr. Ford hadn't compromised on Ms. Hill and no candidate could muster a majority vote by the school board, the appointment would have become the responsibility of the Lucas County Probate Court.
Ms. Fisher said after the meeting that another reason she could not vote for Ms. Hill is her concern about Ms. Hill's ties to the Toledo Federation of Teachers union.
"We cannot put the needs of adults first," she said.
"The children have to be first."
Ms. Hill addressed that concern when asked by Mr. Ford during the applicant interviews last week and said that she would be able to work on behalf of the board for the best needs of the district.
Ms. Hill retired in 2004 after more than 35 years with Toledo Public Schools, serving most of those years at Navarre Elementary school.
She taught first, second, fourth, and sixth-grade students, as well as remedial math and computer lab.
Ms. Hill graduated from Rogers High School and has bachelor's and master's degrees in education from the University of Toledo.
Contact Meghan Gilbert at:
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