Kettering school board to interview five applicants for vacant seat

Five candidates for a vacant Kettering City School District Board of Education seat are set to be interviewed Tuesday night.

They include Susan Bodary, Sam Hurwitz, Chrissie Richards, Bryan Suddith and Steve White.

Susan Bodary

Susan Bodary serves as partner and owner of Education First, a national, mission-driven strategy and policy organization, according to her letter of interest.

Bodary has experience as a consultant and sole proprietor of bipartisan, non-profit organization EDcatalyst; executive assistant for education and workforce with the office of Ohio Governor Bob Taft; and executive director of Project READ, a regional coalition of schools, businesses and community organization aimed at addressing literacy issues across the age spectrum. She also served as assistant director, public relations and product marketing for designated National Historic Landmark campus Cranbrook and served as a senior project administrator for the Society of Manufacturing Engineers .

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Bodary is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with bachelor’s degrees in organizational communication and public law.

She emphasized that her 35-year career has been dedicated to education, including working on education policy and programs.

“Fundamentally, I am an education policy expert, engaged listener, proactive problem-solver and expert facilitator who cares deeply about the students in our community,” Bodary said in the letter.

Sam Hurwitz

Sam Hurwitz serves as chief of operations for Dayton Public Schools.

According to his letter of interest, Hurwitz has experience in executive-level administration of non-profit, public, and K-12 support services, as well as with reorganizing departments and divisions related to staffing, contracts, procurement pricing, asset and risk management, and human resources.

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With education experience from Hocking Technical College and University of the People, Hurwitz also currently serves on the Business Operations Advisory Committee for the Ohio Association of School Business Officials; the National Buildings and Grounds and Asset Management committees for the American Public Works Association; and is president of the Ohio Public Facilities Management Association.

“I enjoy my current role and with my previous job experience, as well as current organization affiliations, I believe that I can help the district, utilizing my skillset to help improve areas that the current board may see as concerns,” Hurwitz said in the letter.

Chrissie Richards

Chrissie Richards serves as executive director of culinary and nutrition care for Kettering Health.

Richards has experience in strategic planning, program and business development, market research, management, and customer service, according to her letter of interest.

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

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“I have an extensive background in strategic planning and business development, and value an innovative approach to challenging situations,” she wrote in the letter. “I am a forward thinker with a growth mindset and very willing to step outside my comfort zone to accomplish what needs to be done.”

Bryan Suddith

Bryan Suddith serves as administration officer for the Montgomery County Veterans Service Commission.

Suddith has experience in marketing, public relations, public outreach, creative writing, account management and non-profit leadership, according to his letter of interest.

His education experience includes a bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation administration from Murray State University and a master of public administration from University of Dayton. Suddith also was part of the second Kettering Leadership Academy and served on the Mayor’s Charter Review Commission and later on the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Board. He also was part of the Dayton Chamber Leadership Dayton Program.

“As the proud father of two Fairmont graduates, classes of 2017 and 2020, I am eager to continue serving our community,” he wrote in the letter. “What better way to demonstrate an unselfish interest in the welfare of others than to serve on our school board, where decisions and policy have an immeasurable impact on our city.”

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Steve White

Steve White is a manager for a local tax and accounting firm. He and his wife — a Fairmont East High School graduate — have lived in Kettering for more than 20 years, according to his letter to the board.

In the past 25 years, White said he has involved business consulting, business training, personal mentoring, recruiting and career coaching, as well as owning a small business.

White said he is seeking the board seat “to ensure Kettering families and their children continue to receive a quality education” and to “work with the school board members in developing ways to help students obtain and retain the confidence vital for their future educational goals and/or career paths.”

White cited U.S. Department of Education data indicating high school students regret making career job decisions “within a few years” of graduating.

“I would like to be part of the solution to this current reality by collaborating with other board members, teachers, administrators, local colleges and other professionals to improve and enhance the student experience so they can be more confident in determining a career path,” he stated in his letter.

White and his wife have two children. One is a 2021 Fairmont graduate and the other is a n FHS senior.

Unexpired term

Interviews for the seat vacated by longtime member Lori Parks last month will be held in executive session at 6 p.m. at the board office, at 580 Lincoln Park Blvd., in the Firebird Room on the third floor.

The deadline to apply for the vacancy was Friday. Board President Toby Henderson said the board wants to fill the seat at the Jan. 24 meeting.

Parks, a 19-year board member, retired from the panel effective Dec. 31 to focus on professional work opportunities, according to her Dec. 29 letter.

Parks was elected to five, four-year terms starting in 2003, facing opposition in two races, according to Montgomery County Board of Elections records.

The selected candidate to replace Parks 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, according to the district.