Despite meetings, no vote on school board vacancy

By Jonathan Delozier -

The search for a new Wellington school board member to replace Lois Wulfhoop will last at least one more week.

Despite special executive sessions Sunday and Monday to interview candidates and one more at its meeting Tuesday evening, the board was unable to come to a decision.

“We’ve all lost sleep over this,” said board president Sally Stewart. “After careful consideration we are not making our final decision tonight. We all want to get this right.”

Another special meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Westwood Elementary cafeteria with the goal of concluding the search. If a replacement isn’t chosen by the end of September, the decision will be turned over to the Lorain County Probate Court.

Three candidates for the board spot attended this week’s public session: Bill Watters, Wellington High School assistant wresting coach and president of the WHS running club; William Bogan, a former Wellington school board member and current Lorain High School teacher; and Brett Murner of the Murner Law Firm in Wellington.

“I’m involved quite a bit and it’s good to see people recognize some of that,” said Watters while the board deliberated behind closed doors. “I was very humbled to have people come out and speak on my behalf. During the last election my wife and I debated whether I should run. We had a lot of family issues to work out and kids starting into high school at that time.

Watters said he and his family came close to leaving the district.

“After all the cuts were made, we were debating pulling our kids out of Wellington,” he said. “We went and looked at a lot of schools but my wife and I were both born and raised here. We decided to pass on the election but get more involved with the school to try and change things. We’re not going anywhere.”

Stormy Rush, vice president of the WHS running club, and Dukes wrestling coach John Sedlick endorsed Watters.

“Bill has been a strong member of the community and part of Wellington Schools his entire life,” said Rush. “His work in various coaching positions has benefited our most important customers, the students. Students have come to me many times to say how Mr. Watters cares, leads, and guides them to become not only better athletes, but better students.”

“I’ve known Bill for a long time,” said Sedlick. “I taught him and coached him in high school. I can speak to his outstanding character. He’s a problem solver and gets on a mission to make positive things happen.”

Gil Shellhouse, treasurer of the WHS running club, also endorsed Watters but spoke highly of all three candidates.

“I’m here to talk on behalf of Bill Watters but I can also say a lot of good things about William Bogan,” he said. “They’re both excellent candidates. Brett Murner is also someone who has contributed a lot to the community. Bill was chosen to be president of the running club because of recommendations from former Wellington educators. Teachers and administrators both said he’s an excellent coach and excellent person.”

Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.

By Jonathan Delozier