Andy Garber Named New Ohio County Board of Education President
photo by: Joselyn King
WHEELING – Three recently elected Ohio County Board of Education members were sworn into office Friday, with “the new guy” being selected to lead the board.
Just after retired Ohio County Schools educator Andy Garber was sworn into his first term in office, the board voted 3-2 to name him their president.
Also sworn in on Friday by Ohio County Circuit Court Judge David Sims were David Croft and Molly Aderholt, who both began their second terms as board members.
Aderholt moved to nominate Croft to remain as board president in the new term. Board member Pete Chacalos then spoke up and nominated Garber.
“I believe everyone on this board – every single person – would make an excellent board president,” Chacolos said. “I know from past experience in past years that while we may disagree, every single person on this board wants what is best for Ohio County Schools.
“With that in mind, due to his extensive and intimate knowledge of the workings of Ohio County Schools – both as a teacher and as an administrator – I would like to nominate Andy Garber as board president.”
Chacalos, Garber and board member Grace Norton – all retired educators – voted for Garber to be president. Croft and Anderholt – both attorneys – voted for Croft.
Croft then handed over the gavel to Garber to conclude their meeting.
“Being board president is not a position of power. It’s a position of responsibility,” Garber said. “Every person on this board is one vote. I am one vote. My hope is that we can work together.
“I think the motto on the top of the agenda says it all: ‘Together We Achieve.’ I believe that wholeheartedly not only for our students and teachers, but for our board members.”
Garber said he brings “a different perspective to the board,” as do all board members.
“I don’t look at that as a weakness. I look at that as a strength,” he explained. “We all have viewpoints, and we all have perspectives on things. Whenever you work collaboratively, that’s an important aspect to have.”
Garber said he is looking forward to the year ahead, which he knows will bring challenges.
“We need to work together. I believe in each and every one of these people. I have great respect for anyone who would serve on the board, and give their time and energy.
“It’s all about kids, and every single one of us believes that.”
Garber was the top vote-getter in the race for three seats on the board of education in the May 10 election. He received 3,620 votes; Croft, 3,409; and Aderholt, 3,052.
Among others in the race, Jessica Powers captured 2,712 votes; Darrin Cox, 1,934; and Ron Scott Jr.,1,682, despite withdrawing from the race.
During the election Croft and Aderholt defended their decision to reduce the school district’s funding of the Ohio County Library last year from approximately $884,547 to $589,698 annually – or about $300,000.
Garber has been a proponent of reinstating the library’s allocation to the full amount.
While on the campaign trail, he said he hoped language clarifying the library funding can be included in the wording of the school district’s next excess levy when it goes before voters “so it (funding) cannot be manipulated.”
Garber also formally introduced the new superintendent’s secretary for Ohio County Schools, who is Joyce Galloway. He said Galloway previously was his secretary when he served as principal at the Warwood School.