Mansfield School Board Meeting Heats Up Debating Position

  • 8/18/2017 9:53:58 PM
  • Jesse Smith
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH - On Tuesday, the Mansfield City Schools Board of Education met to discuss several items on the agenda - but it was during the public comments portion when things got a little tense in the usually-relaxed meeting room.

Parent Effie James addressed the board Tuesday night to broach the topic of diversity in the staff of Mansfield City Schools, citing it as a possible influence on the school's declining efficiency. Then he brought up the topic of the school's rejection of Stan Jefferson for the position of campus director.

Jefferson, a former Mansfield administrator who joined the Ohio State University's staff in 2004, is described as "supremely qualified" by members of the community who were shocked by the elimination of the campus director position.

Effie James continued until his time to make a public comment was up, but he wasn't the only one who felt upset over the position's removal. Board members Renda Cline, Chris Elswick, and Gary Feagin all expressed their disappointment and confusion over why Jefferson wasn't immediately hired as soon as the district was given the chance.

"Stan Jefferson would be a fantastic addition to the district," said board member Chris Elswick. "For the life of me, I don't know why we haven't jumped at the opportunity to bring him back."

Board member Sheryl Weber tried to give a possible explanation for Jefferson's treatment, saying that Jefferson hasn't worked in public schools "in quite some time" and that she wasn't sure that Jefferson was "up to date on what the Ohio Department of Education and the state requires."

The entire room seemed to bristle at Weber's comments, with board member Renda Cline responding that other staff members with no experience have been brought on because of their sheer potential.

"It was a supreme opportunity for the school district to improve not only what I think is a terrible discrepancy in our diversity within our school staff and our administration, but to get a supremely qualified administrator back into the fold," said Effie James. "We just missed an opportunity and I felt it was my responsibility as a parent to express that concern to our school board tonight, and to make sure that we, as a community, hold them accountable."

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