MOUNT VERNON — As local school districts are discussing the desire to be directly represented on the Knox County Career Center school board, KCCC board president Richard McLarnan sent a letter to the local school boards to answer that concern.
The letter states, “When our Career Center was formed in 1968 it was determined to get representation for all of the schools.” It goes on to list who the representatives for each district are and provides contact information.
According to the letter, Dick McLarnan represents Centerburg, Ruby Miller represents Fredericktown and Mary Jean Theaker represents Clear Fork. Danville and East Knox are represented by Ken Boeshart and Mount Vernon is represented by Margie Bennett, Paula Barone and Jody Goetzman.
Boeshart, McLarnan, Miller and Theaker are elected members of the board for the Knox County Educational Service Center and Barone, Bennett and Goetzman were elected to the Mount Vernon City Schools Board of Education. All seven were appointed by the KCESC or MVCS board to serve on the KCCC board.
McLarnan issued an invitation for the local boards to contact their representative “to let the career center representative know if you have any matter you would like presented to the Knox County Career Center Board of Education.”
The problem is, local school boards, except Mount Vernon’s, were unaware of that supposed representation.
“I’ve been on the board 16 years, and this is the first I’ve ever heard of it,’ said Centerburg school board president Lynn McCann. “To my knowledge, there has been no communication between our ‘rep’ and this board.”
Clear Fork’s board president Gary Mathes said Theaker, to his knowledge, has never visited or reported to the Clear Fork board, at least in the 15 years Mathes has been on the board.
“Right now, we have no representation,” Mathias said. “We are no longer a member of the Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center [which appointed Theaker to the KCCC board]. We transferred to the Knox County ESC because of the career center and because the Knox county schools are a better match for us.
“I think it would be nice to have direct representation on the career center board. The career center is basically those schools that send students there. I think we need someone who at least reports to us and listens to our concerns.”
MOUNT VERNON — The location of Thursday night’s meeting of the Knox County Career Center Board of Education has been changed to the KCCC cafeteria, 306 Martinsburg Road.
An executive session is scheduled to start at 6 p.m., with the regular public meeting to begin at 7 p.m.
East Knox Board member Bob Durbin said he was unaware that Boeshart was the East Knox representative to the KCCC board prior to receiving McLarnan’s letter. “The KCCC rep has never been to our board meetings,” said Durbin. “I’ve never seen anyone at our board meetings.”
Danville and Fredericktown school board members with whom the News spoke were also unfamiliar with their representatives.
As McLarnan’s letter states, the local districts do have the option of designating a representative to the KCCC board to act as an observer.
In Danville’s case, that observer is Carolyn Addair. She attends the KCCC meetings when she can, and shares with the Danville board information about how Danville students are doing at the career center, upcoming events such as an open house and other events.
The local boards seem to be dissatisfied with only having observer status at KCCC board meetings.
East Knox’s Durbin said, “We have a representative or observer from our board, but they have no vote on anything. I don’t know how, but we need to change it so that we get to work together.”
“We used to take turns going to the KCCC meetings and observing,” said Mathes. “Maybe you were introduced, maybe not. We had no input and no vote.”
McCann said Centerburg has, in the past, sent observers to the career center board meetings.
“Our observers would report back whatever went on at the [KCCC] meeting. Of course, 90 percent of what school boards do is pretty routine,” he said. “When I went, I thought their meetings were incredibly routine. There was not much discussion before they voted on anything. Even during the meeting there was very little discussion throughout the meeting. It all seemed to be pretty well cut and dried.”
McCann thinks local boards should have direct input and voting rights on the KCCC board.
“In theory,” he said, “the career center is an extension of Centerburg, Fredericktown, Danville and so on. We are not an extension of them.”
Calls to McLarnan for comment were unreturned at press time.