The Vinton County Local Board of Education members were busy during their first meeting of the 2022 calendar year, on Tuesday, Jan. 11 at the District Office in McArthur. The annual Organizational Meeting, which preceded the regular monthly meeting, featured the swearing-in of new Board members Laura Martin and Scarlet Newton and re-elected Board member Cindy Strausbaugh.

Newton is a Vinton County native. She is a registered nurse who also graduated from Vinton County High School.  She is employed at an area hospital and has a child who attends Vinton County Schools. Martin is retired from a long career in the hospitality business. The two women are first-time officeholders after being elected in last November’s General Election.

Strausbaugh returns to the Board for another 4-year term after being the top vote-getter with 1,500 votes. Strausbaugh, who was also elected by her fellow Board members to serve as president for 2022, started the Vinton County Educational Trust Fund and has been an advocate for the new schools and upgraded technology.

The oaths of office to all three women were administered by Vinton County Probate-Juvenile Judge Robert "Bob" Grillo.

Board member Mary Ann Hale, who is in the middle of a 4-year term, was elected as the vice president. She has had a long career in the Vinton County Schools as both a teacher and an administrator, including a stint as assistant superintendent. Hale played a key role in the drive for the new Vinton County High School and the improvement in technology, the curriculum, and test scores in the district.

The Board also made another change involving the meeting date and time. For the current time, monthly meetings will be conducted on the third Tuesday of each month, starting at 5 p.m. Meetings are normally held at the District Office, but may also be conducted at the school buildings at times. The regular meeting day and time was changed due to several work-related conflicts with different Board members. The meeting time and date will be reevaluated after the May meeting.

Superintendent Rick Brooks took the time to welcome Martin and Newton to the Board. The new members will be traveling to Columbus soon for training designed for new board members. Brooks also stated the Board has a lot of work to do and he is looking forward to progress being made.