CAMDEN — Gayle George, a former Preble Shawnee Board of Education member, made a heartfelt plea to the community to come together during the PS Board of Education’s meeting on Thursday, Sept. 27.
He stated, despite the community engagement meetings, people are still focusing on “yes and no voters,” when instead they should be focusing on the Preble Shawnee community as a whole.
“We still focus on yes voters and no voters. I think this board needs to start to talk about Preble Shawnee voters,” George said. “The things I read on Facebook are always negative. I would like to see things like, we’ve graduated nurses, doctors, farmers — you could go on forever, but you never see that on Facebook. All you ever see is negative.”
“As we progress through those meetings, I would like to see something that is going forward. Both of the meetings we go back and discuss things that are of a old nature,” George said. “I haven’t seen anything yet that is focused on listening to people. This Board of Education needs to go out there, listen, and bring back and discuss those concerns. As we address those concerns one on one, that is not being a board member. I think we can work collectively together – we can make this district stronger if we start pulling the same wagon, which we are not doing now.
“I think we can pull this thing out and start focusing on our children.”
In response, PSLEA President Kim Willoughby shared her own example of the West Elkton community coming together in support of an employee.
“We had found out at West Elkton that one of our employees was going through a really hard time. They lost their housing and was living without housing due to no fault of their own. At West Elkton, we did raise some money for that person,” she said.
“We raised $500 for one of our employees who also has a child who goes here,” she said. “Because her child goes here, the liaison was able to help also with a deposit and rent also. She is now on her way to having her own place again. We really do manage when it counts to pull together. We are a family. Our schools are our communities — the cornerstone of our community.”
Beginning with the November board meeting, the Preble Shawnee Student Senate will have a seat at the Board of Education table. The board has been discussing having student involvement in the board meetings, so the student body can have an input on decisions made.
The Student Senate was chosen as the participant, because there are numerous students to choose from. If the president is sick or has another commitment, another officer can attend.
This student will have a seat next to Superintendent Matt Bishop. During the presentations, the student will be able to highlight what is going on at the school and offer input. Underold business or new business on the meeting agenda, they can be asked for additional input. They will also have the opportunity to reach out to their peers to report back at a later date.
In other business, the board approved the purchase of Chromebooks/Carts/Licenses in the amount of $16,499.58.
The next Preble Shawnee Board of Education meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 6 p.m. in the PS District Office.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH