Eastern Local appoints Forsythe to board

It didn’t take long for the Eastern Local Schools Board of Education to find a replacement for their vacant seat on the board.

At their June meeting on Tuesday, June 9, the board appointed Debora L. Forsythe to take the place of Jeff Ratliff, who unexpectedly announced his resignation just five months and a half months after being appointed.

Forsythe, the assistant director of the Brown County Child Support Enforcement Agency, said that she was approached to fill the seat by Eastern Local Superintendent Michele Filon. And while many board members serve while they have children in the school system, Forsythe decided that now with her only child having graduated, it’s a good time to get involved and make a difference to the next crop of students entering the school system.

“I’m a big supporter of Eastern,” Forsythe said in a phone interview. “I had given it some thought a couple of different times throughout my daughter’s (Alexa Forsythe) time at Eastern, but it wasn’t until after she graduated that I took it seriously. I thought it would be a good opportunity.”

Forsythe has been very involved in the community and the school district in the past, though mainly on the coaching side for the school. She’s coached the varsity girls basketball team, as well as stints with the elementary and junior high school girls basketball teams, but she’s ready to take an active role in the decision making process for the district.

Forsythe didn’t have any goals or plans that she’d ultimately like to see approved, but she did hope that the school system focuses on keeping more students on campus. A number of students across Brown County take part in post-secondary enrollment options, whether at nearby community college or universities, or at Southern Hills Career Technical Center.

She admitted that PSEO is the right option for some kids, but she worries about some of the kids missing out on the quintessential high school experience.

“I would like to see us reaching towards keeping more of our students on the campus,” Forsythe said. “We’ve got great teachers there who are willing to jump in and continue their education to teach those classes.”

Forsythe wasn’t the only member of her family discussed in the board meeting.

The board approved the resignation of Debora Forsythe’s husband, Dennis Forsythe, after eight years of coaching, the last five of which were as the head coach of the Lady Warriors varsity softball team.

Dennis Forsythe announced his resignation following the end of the 2014/2015 softball season, with his team finishing as district runners-up. He resigned in order to focus on his antique furniture business.

The board also approved a number of other matters on the agenda at their June meeting.

The board agreed to a contract with Triple M Roofing of West Union to do roof repairs on the district office and the Eastern Middle School gym. The district office roofing repairs will cost $18,500 and the gym will cost $30,000.

The board approved a five-year leasing contract with Cincinnati-based office supplies company ProSource for school copy machines beginning on July 1, 2015.

The board approved a contract with Peebles-based Arrick’s Propane from July 1, 2015 through March 31, 2018. The school district can purchase propane from Arrick’s Propane for a fixed price of $1.20 per gallon.

The board also renewed their insurance through the Ohio School Plan for $50,140 from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.