West Geauga Board of Education - President Chester "Chet" Ramey, Vice President Kathy Leavenworth, Ben Kotowski, William Beers, and Dan Thoreson.
West Geauga residents have entrusted the West Geauga Board of Education to facilitate the development of each student in order that he or she may reach academic and ethical excellence. The public has also charged the Board to apply fiscal prudence in the district’s quest to attain increasing excellence in the educational process. The West Geauga Board of Education is dedicated to this responsibility.
The Board consists of five members, each elected for staggered four-year terms by registered voters living in the district. Members are responsible for the following: establishing the policies that are carried out by the Superintendent and the administrative staff, evaluating the educational program, and determining whether worthwhile objectives are being accomplished. The Board also makes the final decisions on how the revenue of the West Geauga Local Schools is spent and when the district needs to go to the voters for additional tax dollars through levies and/or bond issues.
The current members of the West Geauga Board of Education are President Chet Ramey (term expires 12/31/21), Vice President Kathy Leavenworth (term expires 12/31/23), and members William Beers (term expires 12/31/23), Ben Kotowski (term expires 12/31/23), and Dan Thoreson (term expires 12/31/21). The president and vice president are elected every January by the five-member Board.
The regular business meetings of the Board of Education are held at 7:00 p.m. in the West Geauga Board Office Community Room, 8615 Cedar Road in Chester Township (see schedule)*. All meetings are open to the public and media. A provision is made at each Regular Board meeting to hear visitors wishing to speak on matters pertaining to the education of children in our schools. Anyone wishing to address the Board may do so during the Remarks of the Public. Upon request, West Geauga Local Schools will make reasonable accommodations for disabled persons who wish to participate in any of its activities. There is no public participation at Special Board of Education Meetings.
*Governor DeWine signed Amended Substitute House Bill 197 into law. This law is in response to health risks associated with the Coronavirus outbreak. Among other things, the law allows public bodies such as boards of education to conduct their meetings using telephone conference, video conference, or other similar technologies. The law became effective on March 27, 2020. On November 22, 2020, the Governor signed House Bill 404 extending the temporary authorization for members of a public body, including a board of education, to hold and attend meetings or hearings via electronic technology until July 1, 2021. The current authority would have expired Dec. 1, 2020. The West Geauga Board of Education is committed to the health, safety, and welfare of our students and their parents, our staff, and our community in general. But even in these times, the Board needs to take certain actions to keep the district operational and fully functional now and in the future. For these reasons, the Board will forego an in-person meeting tonight to avoid a gathering of our community members. We will instead conduct tonight's meeting by video conference and will live-stream the video conference meeting to the public. A link to the live-stream was provided in the public notice of this meeting and is located on the district website. This is exactly what the new law allows. If a member of the public wishes to submit a question or comment for consideration as part of the public meeting, please be sure to follow the instructions on the district website.
At the March 30, 2020 Board Meeting, the West Geauga Board of Education approved a resolution to suspend portions of certain Bylaws which were not consistent with board meetings by telephone conference or video conference. A second resolution was passed on December 14, 2020, extending the Board's ability to meet via electronic means until July 1, 2021. This resolution ensures compliance with Amended Substitute House Bill 197, as extended by the passage of HB 404. At this time, the Board of Education will continue its meetings by telephone conference, video conference, or other similar technologies. Thank you for your time, consideration, and patience during this difficult time.