Kevin Stump was chosen Jan. 9 to serve as president of the Wellington board of education.
First elected in 2015, Stump is a father of two children in the district, a fifth- and second-grader, and aims to forward strategic and facilities planning that’s been formulated over the past few years.
“At the end of the day, you’re just trying to do a good job for the kids and for the district,” he said. For two years under former president Sally Stewart, the board “really weeded through some significant issues. We’re in good shape going forward and, obviously, I’m honored to sit in this seat,” he said.
Daniel Rosecrans, also elected in 2015, was tabbed to become the new vice president.
New board member Penny McClaflin, a write-in candidate in November, was sworn in to the final open seat on the board.
“We’ve got a lot of the right pieces in place and now it’s a matter of keeping everything headed in the right direction,” said Stump.
Wellington educators have wrestled with community relations amid a flurry of rapid superintendent and principal changes as well as lawsuits and financial hardship in the past five years. Stump said he still remembers what it felt like to be a parent on the outside looking in.
“I knew I had to try and do more,” he said. “Once you get involved, you realize it’s almost like changing the direction of a plane. It takes time. It takes patience to rebuild that trust. There has been quite a bit of turnover from the John Nolan days to the administration we have in place now with (superintendent Ed) Weber. There’s a lot of great things in motion and a whole new cast of characters.”
As part of the healing process, Weber said he’s interested in organizing coffee talks with parents at Bread N Brew on South Main Street, similar to mayor Hans Schneider’s Coffee With the Mayor events.
“Over the past year our board governance has come a long way,” he said. “We’re focused on a lot of key academic initiatives, social-emotional initiatives, and everyone has been very supportive. This is a unit that has grown closer. I couldn’t be happier with the new choices for our leadership.”
“The board has been very responsive to parents’ concerns over the past year and I think they want to be even more so,” Weber continued. “As we start our planning process, breakfasts are something we can definitely talk about. The format of a board meeting doesn’t always lend itself well to a back-and-forth discussion. It’d be nice to have more of a ‘let’s talk’ setting.”
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.