German Village Gazette

Perkins is leaving Columbus school board

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Columbus City Schools is seeking a replacement for Carol Perkins, a seven-year board member whose resignation is effective at the end of the month.

Perkins, who served five years as board president until earlier this month, said she is retiring at the end of January after 32 years in public service, the last 29 with the Central Ohio Transit Authority, where she has been director of mobility services for persons with disabilities.

Her current school board term expires in 2015.

"It's time to retire and I can do that," Perkins said. "And my second issue, retiring at this point in time, is I wanted to give the board the opportunity to find my replacement."

Interested candidates for the position should send a cover letter and resume to the Columbus City Schools Board of Education, attention Board Services, 270 E. State St. Columbus, Ohio, 43215.

They can also send email to jsmith@columbus.k12.oh.us.

Questions can be directed to Jason Smith, board liaison, at 614-365-5790. Deadline for applications is 5 p.m. Jan. 31.

Perkins said she intends to spend more time with her family.

She lauded the new leadership on the board -- Gary Baker, who was elected president, and Bryan Steward, vice president, earlier this month.

The board also welcomed two new members, Dominic Paretti and Michael D. Coles, who won election in November.

Perkins said she believed the new board will be "highly effective overall."

She said she also is confident in the management of Superintendent Dan Good, who was recently appointed by the board to a second one-year term while the district continues its search for a permanent superintendent.

"I highly respect Dr. Good," Perkins said.

"I think he brings very strong experience, a diverse background, in terms of public education," she said.

"I'm hoping the community will give him and the board a chance because there has to be that connection and support."

The last year has been a rough-and-tumble one for CCS, including an ongoing data-scrubbing scandal, defeat of a 9.01-mill combination operating levy/bond issue on the November ballot, retirement of longtime Superintendent Gene Harris and poor performance on the state report card released in 2013.

Perkins, 62, said she leaves the job with feelings of both regret and accomplishment.

She said she's proud of the district's operations and facilities management program.

For example, 30 new and renovated school buildings opened while she was on the board. She also points to the schools' improved graduation rate which was 85 percent for the class of 2011. Rates for subsequent years have not been released because of the ongoing data-scrubbing investigation.

"The graduation rate, despite what anyone says, has been great, especially for an urban district," Perkins said.

Still, she said she regrets ongoing problems in the district.

"If I've disappointed anyone in the community, I apologize for that," Perkins said.

"I regret not having a 100-percent graduation rate. I regret losing children through violence, tragedy or illnesses."

However, "I think the positives far outweigh any regrets I might have," Perkins said.

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