CPS elects new school board president

January 23, 2019

A changing of the guard occurred earlier this week when the Columbus Public Schools Board of Education met.

Member Candy Becher has been elected to serve as the board’s president. She will be taking over for Theresa Seipel, who held the position for the past two years.

“I’m looking forward to it,” Becher said about the new position. “I don’t think there will be a lot of changes. I’m basically looking forward to enforcing the policies that we have, looking at the policies and if some need to be changed, then we’ll go down that road. Mostly, just helping the board move forward.”

Board member Doug Molczyk has been elected to serve as vice president. Becher explained that the board has an unofficial system where the board’s vice president serves for two years and then is elected to be president for another two. So if the system currently continues to be in place, Molczyk will be its next president.

Superintendent Troy Loeffelholz said he has been looking forward to working with Becher and the rest of the board this year.

“She’s been on the board now for six years, so (she’s a) very experienced board member, a former teacher in the system, so she knows the system very well,” Loeffelholz said of Becher. “She’s going to be a good one. She’s got a very good presence about what’s right for kids. I think that’s important as a school board president.”

At the same meeting, the board voted to approve the creation of a new district position: Summer Enrichment/STEM on the Go Coordinator. The position will manage the STEM on the Go mobile learning lab, a trailer filled with learning modules aimed at providing students learning opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The lab was created in spring 2017 with the help of a three-year, $90,000 grant from the Hubbard Foundation and a one-year matching gift of $30,000 from The Columbus Area Future Fund, as previously reported by The Telegram.

Loeffelholz said Danita Wickens has been appointed to the position. Wickens currently helps staff the district’s High Ability Learner program and is the district coordinator for Destination Imagination, a problem-solving program where teams work together solving challenges as they compete at regional, state and global tournaments.

“So we’re really expanding her role from DI to also STEM,” Loeffelholz said. “With her expertise in that area for enrichment stuff, we felt like it was a good fit for her.”

Wickens said she looks forward to taking on the position and expanding her impact in the community.

“I feel like I’m doing my part to create a better future, not only for my children but for other children,” Wickens said. “I’m excited for this position to reach more children that way.”

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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