Xenia narrows school board search to four candidates; some are familiar faces

The Xenia Community Schools Board of Education is down to four candidates in its search to fill the board seat vacated by Pam Callahan last month.

At a special meeting Friday, the four current board members reviewed seven applications and decided to interview four of the seven candidates who applied: Cheryl Marcus, Jennifer Marietta, Melva “Cookie” Newsom, and Joshua Smith.

“Our primary focus is on selecting the candidate that will best serve the needs of our students, families, staff members, and the district as a whole,” said Joshua Day, president of the Xenia Board of Education. “We were pleased to have so many applicants for the position, and I look forward to getting to know those selected for interviews as we go through the process to select the best person to complete this term.”

The four are scheduled to be interviewed on Saturday, March 25 or Monday, March 27.

The vacancy must be filled within 30 days.

The newly appointed member will be sworn in at the board’s regular meeting on April 10 and will serve the remainder of Callahan’s unexpired term, which ends on December 31, 2023.

The four candidates are:

  • Cheryl Marcus was a member of the XCS Board of Education from 1994 to 2001, and again from 2014 to 2021. Marcus has served on multiple boards and she volunteers her time to local community groups, including current positions with the Xenia Community Schools Foundation and High Schools that Work. She has received numerous awards over her many years of service.
  • Jennifer Marietta was previously a member of the XCS Board of Education from 2017 to 2021. Marietta has served as magistrate for the Greene County Juvenile Court, as well as the deputy director of the Greene County Public Defender’s Office, and currently owns and operates Marietta Law LLC in Xenia. She has served on multiple other boards, including as chair for the Greene County Bar Association Ethics and Grievance Committee and the Board for Recreational Arts and Community Activities (BRACA) for the city of Xenia.
  • Melva “Cookie” Newsom is a Xenia High School graduate who taught in the district for 19 years. Newsom earned her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton, and was a professor at multiple colleges and universities.
  • Joshua Smith is a software developer with years of IT and web support experience. He currently works as a computer scientist in a civilian capacity at WPAFB, and is also employed by Blue52 Productions in a similar role. He is an active volunteer with his church and community.

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