If you are a resident of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and think you have what it takes to be a member of the school board, now is your chance to give it a shot.
Five out of nine mayor-appointed school board members will reach the end of their terms this June. Applications to be nominated for a board position are now available.
With more than half of the board positions open, this round of appointments could significantly influence the future of the district. The new board will also be guiding a new CEO.
CEO Eric Gordon leaves the district in June, and the current board is set to appoint his successor, with the mayor’s approval, by the start of May.
Since 1997, when the Ohio legislature passed a law to reorganize the Cleveland school board, the nine voting members have been chosen by the Cleveland mayor.
Justin Bibb is the fourth mayor (after Michael R. White, Jane Campbell and Frank Jackson) to have this power. He will make the final decisions on the five vacancies.
Learn about the 25 years of mayoral control over Cleveland public schools
There are no term limits for CMSD board members, so once a current member’s term is up, they can apply for reappointment, according to CMSD Board Attorney Kevin Burtzlaff. Board members are not paid for their service.
The five members at the end of their terms are: Louise P. Dempsey, Sara Elaqad, Leah Hudnall, Denise Link and Kathleen Valdez. Dempsey, the longest-serving member, has been on the board since 1998. Read more about each of them at the board’s site.
A board term is usually four years. However, if a member leaves, the mayor may appoint a new person to serve for the remainder of that term.
How to apply
Anyone who is a resident of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District can apply via an application on the City of Cleveland’s website. Applications can be hand-delivered to City Hall, mailed, or submitted via the online form. Paper applications must be received by April 14, and online applications must be submitted by April 16.
Even though Cleveland’s school board members are ultimately chosen by the mayor, it is a complicated process. Read more about that process here.