Jefferson Twp. school board president dies

Vilma Helms was teacher in Dayton Public Schools for 20 years.

Vilma P. Helms, the president of Jefferson Twp.’s school board, died last week in hospice.

She was 83.

She was also a Dayton Public Schools teacher for 20 years, a gifted and talented supervisor for DPS, and served as a Jefferson Twp. school board member for 19 years, according to her obituary.

“Vilma had a public servant’s heart and was a natural leader,” her obituary said.

Her term would have expired at the end of this school year, said Jefferson Twp. schools Treasurer Craig A. Jones. She was not on the ballot for re-election.

But with her death comes some questions about Jefferson Twp. school board, which has an upcoming election in November. Two four-year terms and two two-year terms will be open this upcoming school year.

In this upcoming election, three people are running for two seats on the regular four-year term — Shaunece M. Gillispe, Renee D. McDaniel and incumbent Rodney L. Taylor. Only one person, Michelle A. Cooper, is running for one of two open seats for unexpired terms.

Board member Cuttino Dargan’s term expires in 2026 and he was last on the ballot in November 2021.

Board members Oscar Young and Rodell Guest, are not seeking re-election.

Helms’ visitation is set for 5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Tobias Funeral Home-Far Hills Chapel, 5471 Far Hills Ave., Washington Twp.

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