Fetterolf appointed to fill vacancy on Oxford School Board
● By Steven Hoffman
The Oxford School Board voted to appoint Becky Fetterolf to fill the vacancy of an at-large seat on the board at a special meeting on April 12.
The meeting began with the school board interviewing the three candidates who applied to fill the vacancy that was created when Joe Starcheski resigned from the board on March 15: Fetterolf, Donna Arrowood, and Mimma D' Aquanno.
School board president Richard Orpneck outlined the process that the board would follow to fill the vacancy, explaining that the same five questions would be asked of each candidate. Members of the school board would then have the opportunity to ask the candidates any other questions that they might have. Once the interview process was finished, the school board members would then nominate a candidate or candidates to fill the vacancy. The board would then take roll call votes on each candidate with each board member voting “yes” or “no.” Board members were free to vote “yes” on as many candidates as they wanted. The candidate who received the most “yes” votes would be person to fill the vacancy—as long as they earned a minimum of five votes, which is a majority of the nine-member board.
Arrowood was the first person to apply for the vacancy, so she was also the first person to be interviewed.
She has strong ties to the Oxford Area School District, having retired from the district after working in the business office for 30 years. She also served for four years on the school board, and was a board president for several years. Four generations of Arrowood's family have also attended Oxford's schools.
“I love this school district,” Arrowood said. “It's been the main focus of my life.”
Fetterolf, who ran for a seat on the school board in 2015, was the next candidate to be interviewed. Like Arrowood, Fetterolf has strong roots in Oxford. Several generations of her family attended Oxford schools, and Fetterolf is a 1998 graduate of Oxford Area High School. She also has significant community involvement, coaching soccer, lacrosse, and junior robotics.
Fetterolf has a background in education, and works as a professional learning manager. Fetterolf said that her work requires her to stay informed about policies and trends in education, and she would bring her knowledge about educational issues to her duties on the school board. She said that she wants the best education possible for students in the district, including her three children.
“I want to make sure that their educational experience is as valuable as mine was,” Fetterolf explained.
Next, the board interviewed D' Aquanno. She has two children, one currently in Oxford schools and another who will be attending Oxford schools.
D' Aquanno said that, as a parent, she felt a duty to be involved with the school district and her children's education.
She said that one of her strengths as a board member would be her ability to work well with others.
D' Aquanno said that her main goal would be to ensure that Oxford provides the best education possible for students with the resources that are available.
Once the interviews were completed, the school board began its discussion.
Board member Howard Robinson noted that Arrowood already served the school district as a board member, and had proven herself to be very capable in that role. He also said that she had already demonstrated that she is willing to put in the work necessary.
Board member Lorraine Durnan Bell acknowledged that Arrowood would be an asset if she were appointed to fill a vacancy. But Bell added that Fetterolf, with her background in education and extensive community involvement, would be an asset, too.
When it came time for the school board to make its nominations, all three candidates were nominated—hardly a surprise considering their qualifications and dedication to the school district.
Robinson nominated Arrowood, Bell nominated Fetterolf, and board member Mark Patterson nominated D' Aquanno.
When the vote was taken, Fetterolf received the most “yes' votes with seven. She was promptly sworn in as a new school board member. Fetterolf will serve until the next school board election takes place in November of 2017.