Worthington school board member Charlie Wilson has been nominated for a job that would allow him to influence state and national decisions regarding education.
He is the 2012 president-elect nominee of the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA). If elected in November during that group’s annual statewide conference, he will become president in 2013.
OSBA is an organization that represents and serves school boards across the state through state and national lobbying and providing information and labor negotiations representation for school districts and workshops for board members.
It is supported by dues paid by the 719 school boards that are members and by fees for services such as superintendent searches.
Wilson was appointed to the Worthington Board of Education to replace Gary Tyack in 2006, and was elected to a four-year term in 2007.
He will be a candidate for reelection in November. Should he not be re-elected to the Worthington board, an alternate will receive the OSBA nomination.
Wilson said he became active in OSBA activities shortly after taking local office. He noticed immediately that few of those who serve on the OSBA board of trustees or executive committee come from suburban school districts.
Most come from rural districts or from vocational or educational service center boards, he said.
Eventually, Wilson was named to both the board of trustees and the executive committee, and decided to seek the nomination for president.
Following an extensive application and interview process, he was selected by a nominating committee.
All OSBA representatives will be eligible to vote in February. Wilson is the only nominee.
If elected, he will begin serving immediately. The body has only three officers — the president, the president-elect, and the past president.
The three act together to influence decisions, policies, and budgets on the state and national level, Wilson said. If elected, he would spend a lot of time testifying at the Statehouse and in Washington and working with the Ohio Department of Education and the governor.
“I will be working with the governor to have a formula that lasts for a while,” he said.
A professor at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Wilson said he has received permission from his superiors — including OSU president Gordon Gee — to spend time on the OSBA job.
“They said there is no better person to represent Ohio’s public schools,” he said.
If elected, he would focus on the children of the state, not on the rights of school board members, he said.
“We really are the primary voice of 1.9 million public school children in Ohio,” Wilson said.