Urbana resident Darrell Thomas will fill the open seat on the Urbana City Schools board, board members decided Wednesday.
The seat was open following the death of former Board Vice President Warren Stevens, who died in a car accident Sept. 28. Thomas would serve through December 2017. The vote was unanimous.
Thomas is an 18-year Honda Manufacturing employee at its Marysville plant. His wife, Carrie, is a third grade paraprofessional at Urbana South Elementary. The couple’s daughter is a senior at Ohio Hi-Point and son is an eighth grader at Urbana Junior High.
The board had attempted to fill the open spot four times previously, but each time deadlocked on a person for the seat. Board members Tim Lacy and Jack Beard supported as their first choice Yale Cline, a retired educator who worked at the Springfield City Schools. Board member Alyssa Dunham and Board President Jan Engle’s first choice was Thomas, leaving prior votes a 2-2 tie and preventing the seat be filled.
Lacy and Beard said after the meeting on Wednesday Thomas was their second choice. Thomas withdrew his name from consideration, Lacy said.
“I never had issues with Mr. Thomas. I had went with Mr. Cline because I felt his experience in education was what I was looking for. I thought he would be a great resource,” Lacy said.
Dunham and Engle said Thomas was their first choice because he seemed to be the best qualified when interviewed. The board had previously interviewed Cline, Thomas and Sarah Finch, a retired Sodexo School Services employee, out of eight candidates for the vacant seat.
“(To me) he was absolutely the best there was” in the interview, Dunham said. Engle added he thought Thomas would also be a good choice as he was involved in the school community.