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Published: Thursday, 1/16/2014

State law doesn't change Penta board this year


Penta Career Center's Board of Education is going to face changes from a state law enacted last year, but changes won't be visible this year.

Five existing Penta board members were sworn into another term of office on Wednesday, as they each met the new requirements for career center boards.  The requirements include term limits for the first time and that each board member must be a chief financial officer, chief executive officer, human resource manager, or other industry professional and career counselor representative of employers in the region.

Penta, which has about 1,400 students from 16 area school districts at its Perrysburg Township campus. The school has 31 career-technical programs and has a $25 million annual budget. It receives revenue through taxes and state funding. Programs include automotive technology, culinary arts, landscaping and turfgrass management, and welding.

For the first time under the state law, the represented school boards that participate with Penta can appoint anyone who turns in an application and resume. Previously, members had to be an elected school board member from the participating schools.

Penta Superintendent Ron Matter said Rossford had a community member apply this year, but he didn't know about applicants from other districts.

The five members of the nine-member Penta board sworn in Wednesday begin a three-year term, with a limit of two terms. Judy Sander, the Northpoint Educational Service Center representative, has been on the board since 1992 but she now can serve a most six more years.

"A critical piece is continuity," Mr. Matter said about the board. "The five sending districts are returning their members. Individuals met one or more of the criteria [in the new law]."

One aspect of the new law which concerns Mr. Matter is that Penta board members do not have to live in the district. For example, someone who works in Perrysburg but lives elsewhere could represent the Perrysburg School District on the Penta board, providing the Perrysburg Board of Education appointed that person.

Mr. Matter has said he disagrees with the prospect that someone could vote on a tax proposal without being personally affected.

But with Judy Paredes representing Wood County Educational Service Center, Joseph Rutherford representing the Educational Service Center of Lake Erie West, Kenneth Sutter representing Rossford Schools, Robert Righi representing Maumee City Schools, and Ms. Sander all coming back this year, the affects of the new law won't be felt at Penta for another year, when the other four Penta board slots will be up for new terms.

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.

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