Oxford School Board member resigns
● By Steven Hoffman
With the start of a new school year at hand, the Oxford School Board handled a full agenda at its meeting on Aug. 21.
The school board formally accepted the resignation of board member David Severino, who was elected in 2017 to serve a four-year term in the district’s Region 1.
Now that the resignation has been accepted, the school board has 30 days to name a replacement. The first step to fill the vacancy is to seek applications. Anyone interested in filling the vacancy in Region 1—which includes Upper Oxford, Lower Oxford East, and Oxford Borough East—should apply to fill the vacancy. The school board will interview the candidates and select the replacement for Severino.
In her report to the school board, the district’s assistant superintendent Dr. Margaret Billings-Jones talked about the new teacher induction that took place on Aug. 20. She said that the new teachers’ introduction to the school district went very well. The group of new teachers has a wide range of professional experiences, Billings-Jones said.
“We are very fortunate to have such a strong group joining us,” she explained.
The assistant superintendent also talked about an upcoming early fall picnic that is being planned for Sept. 25 for 7th and 8th graders and their parents so that they can learn about the district’s career pathways program.
Also at the meeting, Billings-Jones was appointed by superintendent David Woods to serve as the designated School District Safety and Security Coordinator. In this role, Billings-Jones will work to oversee the school resource officers, ensure that all safety policies are enforced, and facilitate all communications pertaining to security.
“The responsibilities are many,” Woods said of the role of the Safety and Security Coordinator.
Steve Roberts, the president of the Oxford Educational Foundation (OEF), talked about the organization’s efforts to support the educational mission of the school district. OEF has increased the number of volunteers who help students in the district. Roberts explained that during the last school year, the OEF had volunteers who worked a total of 3,300 hours tutoring and mentoring students. That is an increase of about 36 percent over the previous year. All those volunteer hours amount to about $77,000 in volunteer services.
The school board welcomed Lauren Watkins as the student representative to the school board. Watkins is a senior at Oxford Area High School. She will report to the board about activities at the schools and any issues that are affecting students.
The school board will meet again on Tuesday, Sept. 11 for a work session. The next regular meeting takes place on Tuesday, Sept. 18.