Xenia HS grad to fill open school board seat

Mary Adeline Lewis was appointed to the vacant Xenia Board of Education spot. CONTRIBUTED

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Mary Adeline Lewis was appointed to the vacant Xenia Board of Education spot. CONTRIBUTED

A 2013 Xenia High School graduate is the newest member of the Xenia Board of Education.

Mary Adeline Lewis has worked in the Greene County Public Defender’s office since 2019 after gradating from the University of Dayton law school, according to her resume.

“As someone who graduated from Xenia High School and is very proud of the education I received, I am honored to be able to be involved in this capacity. As a public defender in this county, I see a lot of people who have not finished or did not complete their high school degree. I would like to bring more focus on creative ways to allow students to not only finish their high school degree but also seek out job and professional training,” Lewis said.

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Lewis said as a recent student and a local attorney, she believes she can bring a fresh perspective about what it means to experience the Xenia school system.

“I experienced a very similar experience to students in the school system right now,” Lewis said.

The board discussed the appointment in executive session during a March 29 special meeting. Board member Dr. Robert Dillaplain voted no, but the rest of the board voted to appoint Lewis.

“We are pleased to have Ms. Lewis join the board, and we believe that she brings enthusiasm and a sincere love of Xenia and our schools to the table,” said Tamara Bartley, president of the board. “As a graduate of Xenia High School who has returned to live in our community, the board was impressed by the value she places on service and the importance of our public education system, as well as her thoughtful approach to becoming a member of the board.”

Lewis said she had a great experience in Xenia schools and wants to empower young people in the community that empowered her. Lewis said in her current job, she works with a vulnerable population. With this school board position, she wants to address societal problems at the beginning, rather than react to them later in life.

The spot was vacant because former board member Jennifer Marietta recently accepted a position as magistrate with the Greene County Juvenile Court, which posed a potential conflict of interest because she will soon be in a position to hear cases that involve Xenia families and district students. She had been on the board since 2016.

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Lewis, Rick Newsock, Faith Ann Sorice, Anna Russell, Melva “Cookie” Mann Newsom, Gail Mueller, Michael Murray, Mary Grech and Kenneth Goodrum applied for the position left vacant by Marietta, according to public records requested by the Dayton Daily News.

Lewis will be sworn in at the next regular meeting of the Board of Education on April 12, and will serve the remainder of the current term for this seat, which ends on Dec. 31. This seat will be one of three filled for a new term on the November ballot.

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