December 20, 2014

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Clearview school board names two new members

SHEFFIELD TWP. — Two new members have been appointed to Clearview Schools Board of Education, despite not all of the applicants being interviewed for the open positions.

Heidi Adkins replaces Connie Finney, who resigned June 7 and whose term expires Dec. 31, according to a news release from Superintendent Jerome Brown. Giles Brown III replaces Brenda Newman, who resigned June 10 and whose term expires Dec., 31, 2015.

Adkins, a mother of three, including two children in the school district, said Monday that her sister and Chad Parsons, a member of the Sheffield Township Board of Trustees, urged her to join the board.

Adkins, a part-time pharmacy technician and volunteer emergency medical technician for the Sheffield Township Fire Department, said her passion is helping people.

“I’m honored to be able to help with the kids and the teachers and the community,” she said. “This is all new to me, but I’m going to try to do my best.”

Finney and Newman denounced board President Eddie Corcino and board members Richard Marcucci and Melissa Newsome when they resigned. They said they were blindsided when former board member Judy Maldonado — now an Educational Service Center of Lorain County board member — was allowed on stage during last month’s high school graduation to present her son with a diploma.

Corcino had written an email proposing a lottery for parents to be allowed onstage and proposed using the lottery as a way to “mask” allowing Maldonado’s participation.

He later emailed Finney that it was a “dumb idea” after she said it would be showing favoritism to a former board member.

Newman also had questioned whether board members were following Ohio Sunshine Laws.

Despite the criticism, Adkins said she had no trepidation about joining the board. Adkins said she and her family have known Corcino casually for years and she has confidence in his abilities.

Brown couldn’t be reached Monday. In the news release, Brown said he wanted to see Clearview’s “tradition of excellence” continued, “through my positive outlook and through my direct support and involvement in the district.”

Adkins, a 38-year-old 1993 Clearview High School graduate, said she was not interviewed for the position after applying and was “shocked” when Brown called last week and offered her the job.

Corcino said last week that several candidates were interviewed before a decision was made.

Corcino didn’t return calls Monday.

Pat Echko, the township’s fiscal officer, said she called Adkins to congratulate her last week and was disappointed to hear that Adkins wasn’t interviewed before being appointed. Echko, who said she interviewed for board opening earlier this year, said she wishes Adkins the best.

However, Echko said if candidates weren’t interviewed, it sends a bad message to the taxpayers in the wake of Finney and Newman’s criticism of the way the board operates.

“You would think they would think that transparency is important, but now I guess they think they can do whatever they want,” Echko said. “Why didn’t they give everyone at least the courtesy of an interview?”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.