Two recent Rochester High School graduates were seated as members of the school board last night, along with the wife of a teacher in the district. Aaron Brant, Cody Bailey and Holly Zeigler took the place of Evelyn Reda, John Martino and Nick Zarnich, all of whom resigned unexpectedly from the board. No explanations were given for any of their resignations.
Betty Heim was elected as the new president of the board, and Marian Acon was named vice president. George Bauer was voted treasurer.
As the Beaver Countian first reported back in April, Aaron Brant is the former Rochester High School student who was threatened with suspension after he balked at the district’s attempts to censor the student newspaper. Brant graduated this summer and the principal at the time, David Vezendy, has since been replaced by Michael Damon.
Soon after being appointed president of the board, Betty Heim took charge of the meeting. “Excuse me but the president is to take over” said Heim as she moved from where she had been sitting to take a place at the center of the head table. “Finally! Someone with some balls” said a woman seated in the crowd with a big grin on her face.
The new board members have their work cut out for them — They’ve already been informed about classrooms that have “foul odors”, a teacher of 15 years who showed up to the first day of school only to be told she needed to apply for a position, and a student who might not be able to get into college because of archaic class scheduling conflicts. They’ll also need to hire a new business manager (he resigned as well), and deal with a nearly $8 million building renovation approved by former board members.
Photographs by John Paul