The London City Schools Board of Education (BOE) bid farewell to Superintendent Tom Ben at its meeting Tuesday evening. In his remarks, board president Marv Homan said Ben was just the man the district needed at that time.
“You came to us in a time of difficulty and stress, to lend a helping hand and provide a calming presence,” Homan said. “You dove right in. It was a pleasure to work with you for three and-a-half years. It was a great learning experience for me. Everyone says how much we’re going to miss you.”
Homan said the district has accomplished everything on the board’s checklist, and that Ben has helped the school district ascend to the next level.
Upon accepting a plaque, a token of the board’s appreciation, Ben said working with the district has been a great experience. Though he said the long drive from his home in southwest Ohio has aged him 0ver three and-a-half years, Ben said he is fortunate to remain in a profession he enjoys.
“Working for the London Board of Education has been a joy because of the professionalism of the board, how you conduct yourselves and how you are engaged in the community,” he said. “It is the best board I’ve worked with in 22 years in the position. I have confidence Lou Kramer (newly hired superintendent) will take the district to the next level.”
Ben thanked treasurer Kristine Blind for her dedicated support of him.
“She committed herself to helping me become adjusted to the district. There were decisions to make I didn’t like to make, but it was good for the district,” Ben said.
Ben said he prefers to remain active in the profession and will keep an eye on LCS.
“I’m looking forward to the great things that will happen to London City Schools,” Ben said.
His actual last day is July 31.
In other business, Blind reported the district’s ending cash balance of $5.8 million is higher by $600,000 than forecast. She attributed it to two factors: higher revenues due to a larger-than-expected open enrollment, and expenditures being under budget by $300,000.
She attributed the lower expenses to the staff and maintenance people “being careful with purchases.”
Blind said she is also excited by the district’s bond sale, which was to take place on Wednesday. Blind said there is a potential for millage drop, which becomes a savings to taxpayers.
Among personnel actions, the board approved hiring Stefanie Cox as assistant principal for London Elementary School at a starting salary of $62,000.
Cox, who was present at the meeting, said she decided at an early age to be a teacher and has taught music for eight years in Adena. When taking courses for her master’s degree, she became excited about a course in teacher leadership.
“The next step was principal licensure,” Cox said.
A former resident of Vandalia in Montgomery County, Cox holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Wright State University.
Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.