Annual BOE organizational meeting held


TIPP CITY — The Tipp City Board of Education held their annual organizational meeting to determine board officers and which members would sit on the various boards, councils and commissions of the district for 2023.

The board’s first order of business was to appoint a board president for 2023. Initially, Board member Anne Zakkour nominated Board member Richard Mains, who politely declined the nomination. Mains then nominated Simon Patry to serve as board president for another year. A few concerns regarding Patry’s nomination were raised by Zakkour and Board member Theresa Dunaway.

Zakkour mentioned her main concern revolves around the way the board of education meetings were run in 2022. She raised concerns of double standards being set during meetings and a lack of availability of transparency and discussion between board members.

“One of the biggest problems I have is that I felt like there wasn’t a form for transparency and discussion for the board members even if it’s sort of in ancillary capacity to the main issue on the agenda. And I think that’s really unfortunate because the whole point is to create transparency for all the constituents and I think every time an officer tries to shut down a discussion that maybe inter-related, somewhat related (topics) part of the conversation, I think there should be tolerance for that in the interest of transparency,” said Zakkour.

Dunaway blatantly stated her position against Patry’s nomination, saying, “I don’t think that Simon necessarily did his presidential (duty) … So I just think, in order to be a good board member and, more importantly, a board president, you have to serve the board, not your own personal opinions and I just didn’t feel like that happened last year.”

Dunaway also expressed her frustration with the similarities between work sessions and board meetings. Dunaway stated that she felt like Patry held two board meetings each month rather than one work session and one board meeting. According to her, the agendas were nearly identical and during work sessions, the board would typically have a more open conversation as compared to board meetings.

“I just don’t think that Simon did a good job of the basic duties, that’s just my opinion,” said Dunaway.

Patry was appointed as the 2023 Tipp City Board of Education board president in a 3-2 vote with Dunaway and Zakkour voting against Patry’s appointment.

The vice president for 2023 was also appointed during the meeting. Nominated by Mains, Board member Amber Drum was appointed as the vice president for the 2023 Tipp City Board of Education in a 4-1 vote with Dunaway voting against the appointment based on her opinion that Drum lacks the necessary experience.

During the organizational meeting, the board also determined the dates and times for the work sessions and board meetings of 2023. For 2023, board work sessions have been moved to the first Tuesday of each month beginning in March. Regular meetings were moved from the third Monday of each month to the third Tuesday of each month, also beginning in March.

Committee assignments for 2023 are as follows. Appointed to the Strategic Planning Committee are Patry and Drum. Sitting on the Facillities Committee in 2023 will be Patry and Mains. The board member appointed to personnel contract negotiations is Patry. The Finance and Audit Committee will have members Patry and Mains sitting in during 2023. Zakkour and Dunaway were appointed to the Communications Committee. Drum was appointed to the Business Advisory Council and the Athletics Committee which Dunaway was also appointed to. Mains will continue to be the board member attending Miami Valley Career Technology Center meetings. Zakkour will be sitting on the Tipp City Economic Development Committee. Patry has been appointed to be a part of the Tipp Monroe Community Services. Sitting on the Tippecanoe Educational Endowment committee is Dunaway. The determination of who will be sitting on the Tipp Pride Council was postponed to the next meeting.

The board approved the retention of law firms Bricker & Eckler and Roetzel and Andress on an as needed basis with the intention to search for alternative firms to consider at the February regular session meeting.

Finally, a motion was made by Dunaway to immediately authorize Dr. Tuttle-Huff to post the superintendent position opening at her discretion after the review and approval of legal counsel. The board approved the motion in a 4-1 vote with Patry voting against the motion.

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