The State Board of Education on Tuesday elected Paul LaRue as its president by a vote of 11-7. The DeWine appointee from Washington Court House bested elected Democratic member Christina Collins. His election also brought to a close the presidency of Charlotte McGuire, who was not nominated for the post.
The board also voted to reappoint Martha Manchester as board vice president. Also put up for role were Dr. Collins, who came in second, and member Brendan Shea. Mr. Shea in his bid for the role notably highlighted the attempted legislation to strip the board of most of its duties that failed to see completion in the statehouse last month. He also lamented the operation of the board and department and the lack of a regular budget committee of the panel.
Board member Shea in nominating Mr. LaRue for president highlighted the various teacher of the year awards Mr. LaRue has received for his time as a history teacher. He was also a finalist for Ohio Teacher of the Year. He said Mr. LaRue is well versed in literacy, which the board last fall identified as its top priority area in its budget proposal. He serves at the State School for the Blind and State School for the Deaf and on various workgroups of the board.
“I believe Paul’s background, expertise…and track record make him the right person to lead this board,” Mr. Shea said.
Mr. LaRue briefly pointed to his 29 years in the classroom in a rural community. He emphasized that what matters are children and collaboration. “Good things happen when positive people work together.” He said he would bring positive energy.
Board Member Michelle Newman when nominating Dr. Collins said the board would be best poised for success with Dr. Collins leading it. Dr. Collins has been in education for 15 years either in the classroom or as an administrator. She has also served as a literacy specialist and has focused on “relevant and impactful outcomes” to make education better in Ohio, Ms. Newman said.
Dr. Collins, a 10-year curriculum director from Medina, said she originally joined the board to ensure the board does meaningful work that moves Ohio forward in a way that is based in research and data. She highlighted the resolutions she offered and were adopted by the board. Among them were resolutions to waive consequences from report card data during the pandemic and to urge the legislature to repeal the retention element of the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. She also said workforce development is another subject that she works on outside of the board.