Worthington Board of Education member Charlie Wilson will serve as a director of the National School Boards Association during its spring conference.
The board voted 4-1 on March 10 to spend up to $1,000 for his hotel expenses for the conference. Board member Marc Schare dissented.
According to its website, the NSBA was founded in 1940 and is a nonprofit organization that works with state school boards for public school excellence and advocacy. The national association comprises members from 90,000 school boards throughout the country.
"This is the first time Ohio will have had a director elected through the central-region process, which the top 15 region directors are elected," Wilson said.
He will serve for three years as the NSBA's central-region director.
Wilson was one of five who had applied at the central region's school board in July 2013. Though the vote will be held the first day of the NSBA conference in New Orleans next month, other candidates decided not to run for the national spot, so Wilson is unopposed. He will be inducted at the conference after the vote.
Wilson is active with the Ohio School Boards Association as Worthington's urban-district advisory-network liaison. Last year he served as the OSBA president.
Though Wilson worked at a state level, he did not plan on being a national director nor was it ever one of his goals, he said. He is, however, ready to take the position, he said.
"I'm excited about doing it," Wilson said. "I think it is really good for Worthington. I think it's really good for Ohio. I think I will bring back a lot of stuff."
Wilson will replace central-region director Timothy Sivertson of Elk Mound, Wis.
NSBA plays a role in lobbying and advocating for public education on Capitol Hill. Wilson said his goals are to make districts like Worthington's well-known at a national level, to become proactive in national legislation instead of reactive to change and to advocate more for public education.
"My hope is NSBA will become a lot more involved in the administrative process in the Department of Education," Wilson said.
The Worthington school board had sent a member to the NSBA conference every year but stopped because of budget cuts. This is the first year the board will send a member in about 15 years, Wilson said.
Because it's been so long since the board has sent a member, board president Julie Keegan said she is unsure about the national board and its role in Worthington and Ohio's educational laws.
"I'm all for getting ideas from other parts of the country," Keegan said. "There is just some lingering doubt about where are the biggest impacts of our district."
Keegan said although the board has looked at issues closer to its own borders, she thinks it is a great role for Wilson.
"We need to have workable ideas," Keegan said. "I'm optimistic and interested to see what he comes back with."
The board's next meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 24, at the Worthington Education Center, 200 E. Wilson Bridge Road.