Directors, state senator get 2nd look for Kettering school board seat

More than 20 candidates have applied for the Kettering City Schools board of education seat being vacated by Julie Gilmore, who is resigning. FILE

Credit: FILE

Credit: FILE

KETTERING — Three area directors and a state senator re-interviewed this week for the vacant Kettering City School District Board of Education seat, and the panel’s president says a top contender has emerged.

Diane Farrell, state Sen. Peggy Lehner, Mark J. Martin and Chrissie Richards interviewed with the board Monday night in the search to replace longtime member Julie Gilmore, said Dan Schall, treasurer and chief financial officer for the district.

Board President Jim Ambrose told the Dayton Daily News that “we’ve got somebody in mind,” but he declined to elaborate.

Yet Schall said the district has “not whittled down the list” from the 22 applicants initially interviewed last week.

Schall said board plans to talk with again with Martin – and possibly others from the complete list of applicants – Friday morning.

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Farrell has been director of external relations and development for the Dayton Metro Public Library since 2013, district records show. She served as vice president of external relations for the Dayton Society of Natural History for eight years prior.

Farrell served from 2000-05 as director of Cityfolk following seven years as director of convention services for the Dayton/Montgomery County Convention & Visitors Bureau, records show.

Farrell says her “county-wide view has helped me build relationships and partnerships to address some of the region’s most pressing issues,” her letter to the board states.

Lehner represents the 6th District in the Ohio Senate, but is term limited. Lehner said she would resign from early from her term – which expires in a few months – if picked by the board.

The district covers multiple suburban communities, including Kettering, Huber Heights, Riverside, Centerville, Miamisburg, Miami Twp., Washington Twp., West Carrollton, Oakwood, Germantown and part of Dayton.

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Lehner has chaired the state senate’s education committee for 12 years and has a “deep understanding of the challenges we face in our local schools,” her letter states.

She previously served on Kettering City Council and in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Martin has been an executive director since December 2016 at Community Tissue Services in Dayton, where he has worked for 14 years as a coordinator, supervisor or an executive director, records show.

Prior to that he worked at Delphi Automotive for seven years as a quality operator/coordinator. Martin earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Dayton and a master’s degree in business/healthcare administration from Strayer University.

Martin describes himself “as a leader who inspires change, drives success and excels at managing difficult or uncomfortable situations,” according to his application.

Richards has been a network director at Kettering Health Network since 2010, records show. She worked at Kettering Medical Center as a coordinator and manager for six years prior. Before that, she was director of banquets and sales at The Golf Club at Yankee Trace, records state.

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Richards earned a bachelor’s degree in organizational communications from Miami University and a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Indiana Wesleyan, records show.

She has “excellent organizational and communication skills as well as an extensive background in strategic planning and program development,” her application states.

Gilmore was elected to the school board in 1997, records show, after retiring from a 31-year career teaching Kettering junior high and middle school students.

Gilmore’s resignation became effective Oct. 1. By law, the board must wait 10 days from the date of the vacancy to fill the position, Schall said.

It must appoint a replacement at the first regular meeting after Oct. 10, which is scheduled for Oct. 20, he added.

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