Kettering school board officially approves health care executive as new member

KETTERING — The vacancy on the Kettering City School District board of education has been filled.

The board voted Tuesday night to make Chrissie Richards its fifth member, filling the seat formerly occupied by longtime member Lori Parks, who stepped down effective Dec. 31 with a year remaining in her term.

Richards, a Kettering Health executive, was selected over Susan Bodary, Sam Hurwitz, Bryan Suddith and Steve White in a move the board announced last week.

Richards serves as executive director of culinary and nutrition care for Kettering Health, where she has worked since 2004.

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Richards had been among four candidates interviewed to fill a previous vacancy created by the departure of longtime member Julie Gilmore in late 2020. Current board Vice President Mark Martin was picked to succeed Gilmore.

A graduate of Miami University and Indiana Wesleyan, Richards also serves on the Kettering City Schools Forward Foundation board of directors and previously served on the Woodhaven Swim and Tennis Club board of directors.

Kettering board members are paid the maximum amount allowed under Ohio statute, the district’s bylaws state. That is $125 per meeting, according to the Ohio School Boards Association.

Parks, a 19-year board member, retired from the board to focus on professional work opportunities, according to her Dec. 29 letter.

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The board previously said Parks’ successor will complete the remaining year of the term, with the expectation that they will run for election for a full four-year term in November 2023.

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