School board chooses new leaders after upheaval

Posted at 7:00 AM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 07:00:07-04

SPRINGBORO -- The Springboro Community City Schools board has a new member and a new president.

Dave Stuckey, who in January took on the role of the board's vice president, replaced former president Ron Malone during a March 10 board meeting. Board member Charles Anderson is now vice president.

Board members appointed Darin Lunt as their newest member March 17. Lunt is well-known in the area for his orthodontic practice.

“He did a very good job in his interview and came highly recommended,” Stuckey said.

The upheaval of the board started in early March, only two months after Malone stepped into the role of president. Malone, who was elected as a board member in 2013, stated in his resignation letter that the demands of being a board member were negatively impacting his physical and emotional health.

Malone could not be reached for comment.

“Dr. Malone had been part of the district for a number of years,” said Superintendent Todd Petrey. “He’s very well-respected. He’s a very nice, professional man. But at the same time, if it was impacting his health, I would rather see him enjoy his life and his time with his family than be agonizing over board decisions.”

Malone’s resignation took Petrey and the remaining board members by surprise.

“I’ve known him a long time,” Stuckey said. “That really shocked me.”

Malone and Stuckey were elected to the board together, along with Anderson. Prior to serving on the board, Malone and Stuckey worked together at Springboro High School, where Malone was principal for 13 years. He worked in education more than 40 years total.

“With knowing him as long as I had, I was sad to see it happen, but you know, with what he said, I can understand that,” Stuckey said.

In an effort to respect Malone’s privacy, he hasn’t spoken to him since the board approved his resignation, he said.

Malone submitted his resignation letter the day after a district-wide meeting during which Petrey shared plans to add a ninth-grade principal at the high school. In addition to creating the new position, Petrey plans to shift three other administrators and cut two central office positions.

With approximately 2,000 students at the high school, the district “absolutely needed another administrator,” Petrey said.

This isn’t the first time Malone has seen change in the district. In 2012, during his time as principal of Springboro High School, then-Superintendent Gene Lolli announced plans to reassign Malone to the central office for the 2012-13 school year. After community members rallied behind Malone, Lolli reversed his decision and recommended instead to keep him at the high school.

Petrey said he has spent hours in executive sessions discussing with board members the plans for the staffing changes and had not received any feedback disagreeing with the direction the district is headed.

While surprised by Malone’s resignation, Petrey said he wishes him well.

“I respect the job that Dr. Malone has done for the district and his commitment to the district,” Petrey said. “I hope the best for him and his family and that he is able to enjoy his retirement.”