YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Speaking out for the first time on the subject, Youngstown School Board President Brenda Kimble says the selection of Carol Staten to the district’s new Academic Distress Commission wasn’t simply her decision.
“Dr. Staten was selected hands-down by all seven board members,” Kimble said. “This is who they wanted to represent them.”
Kimble says Staten’s was one of three names offered to the Board, adding that she’s been with the district for 35 years and is also Kimble’s cousin.
“She works in every role that the district presents. She’s been in every school building. She knows every program backward and forward,” she said. “She lives in the city. She graduated from Rayen.”
While Staten now works as a part-time administrator for the district, she had retired from teaching a number of years ago.
Language contained in House Bill 70, which reorganized the distress commission, specifies a teacher must be appointed to represent the district.
Youngstown Education Association president Larry Ellis says he is disappointed in the Board’s choice.
“We feel that the teacher voice was silenced once again,” he said. “Time has changed, and she was a teacher many years ago, when we feel the classroom situations now are a lot different and updated.”
Kimble argues for union leaders to be complaining now is disrespectful, saying that no one in YEA leadership ever made any recommendations to her.
“If they had someone that they felt they wanted the Board to represent, then they should have sit down and had a meeting.”
While Ellis says the union’s lawyers are reviewing Staten’s appointment, he says that he and other leaders will work with anyone who wants to improve education in the Youngstown City Schools.