The West Carrollton school district is mourning the loss of one of the members of its board of education.
Don Henry died Monday morning at 74, according to the district.
Henry, of Miami Twp., was appointed to the school board in November 2014 and then elected by voters in 2015 and 2019. His current term was set to expire Dec. 31, 2023.
“Mr. Henry has been a part of West Carrollton Schools for many years prior to becoming a board member,” school district officials said in a post to Facebook. “He would often volunteer time at school events and was a fixture at athletic competitions even after his own children, Doug and Jerry, graduated. Our thoughts are with his family.”
Henry served on numerous school board committees, including the Audit Committee, Capital Improvement Committee, Community Asset Building Board, Ohio Facilities Construction Commission (OFCC) Building Committee and the Miami Valley Career Technology Center Committee, according to the school district’s website.
West Carrollton School Board President Joe Cox, who has served on the board since 2017, said Henry had “a heart of gold.”
“He was a Pirate through and through,” Cox said. “I went to school with his kids and knew his wife and him very well. They were always supporting the kids 100 percent, all of us, not just their kids, from events to volunteer work to being a board member, he had a heart so big and was so generous with the kids and with the district.”
Superintendent Andrea Townsend told this news outlet she could always count on Henry to be at events as a school board member.
“He was an avid supporter of students,” Townsend said. “His loss is devastating to our Pirate community.”
Due to Henry’s death, the school board’s regularly scheduled meeting Aug. 3 has been cancelled.
Under Ohio law, the school board will appoint a new member from among applicants they interview. The board has 30 days from his death in which to do so. District officials said they will post information about an application process in the coming days.
Henry retired from NCR as an import/export specialist after 44 years of service, according to his obituary. He served in the National Guard from 1968 to 1978.
He was married for 47 years to Connie Henry, who died at 65 in July 2014 after a short illness. Connie Henry had worked as an administrative assistant at C.F. Holliday and Frank Nicholas schools.
Henry supported school groups including the band boosters and was “a staunch advocate” of student safety, often commenting about driver safety at school board meetings, the district said.
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