Meadville Tribune

December 8, 2012

Conneaut School Board reorganizes

By Mary Spicer
Meadville Tribune

LINESVILLE — Walter Thomas was elected president and Don Ellis Jr. was elected vice president of Conneaut School Board during the board’s recent annual reorganization meeting.

All of Pennsylvania’s school boards are required to meet during the first week of December to elect officers, appoint representatives to various organizations and set a meeting calendar for the next 12 months.

Long-time President Jody Sperry chose to not seek re-election to the presidency.

“I’m in the middle of my last term on the board,” said Sperry, whose term expires in December 2015. “It’s been an honor to serve in that capacity but at this time I feel it’s best to step aside in that capacity and let others assume the leadership role.”

Elected in 1999, Sperry has been president since 2006 after serving as vice president from 2003 to 2006.

Thomas most recently served as the board’s vice president.

Thomas, Ellis and Sperry all represent the district’s Conneaut Lake attendance area. At the current time, the former Conneaut Lake, Conneaut Valley and Linesville attendance areas are each represented by three of the board’s nine members. While the district’s elementary and middle schools are now divided into two attendance areas and the formation of Conneaut Area High School consolidated all of the district’s ninth- through 12th-graders into a single building, Sperry said Friday that the board has not seriously considered changing its electoral map.

Conneaut is the only Crawford County school board whose members do not serve at-large. In Crawford Central, PENNCREST and Titusville Area school districts, all district residents select the holders of all nine seats.

According to Sperry, the board can decide at any time to request permission from Crawford County Court of Common Pleas to change the district’s electoral map — or district residents can request a change by presenting a petition signed by at least the number of district residents equaling 25 percent of the greatest number of votes received by any one candidate during the most recent election.

In separate actions, both David Schaef and Thomas were re-appointed to represent the district on Crawford County Career & Technical Center’s Joint Operating Committee.

While the board will continue to meet monthly on the second Wednesday and gather on the first Wednesday for its monthly work session, the time of both meeting and work session have  been moved ahead half an hour from 7:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Mary Spicer can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at