XENIA — The legacy of Bill Spahr lives on in the Xenia Community School District.
Tamara Bartley — daughter of the long-time school board member who died Dec. 6 — was chosen to replace her father and fulfill the remainder of his term on the school board. She was appointed by a 3-1 vote during a special session Jan. 4 and will serve until the term expires Dec. 31, 2019.
“I’m honored to continue what he has started here,” Bartley said. “I don’t know that I could put it into words. It’s very emotional for me. I’m very honored that they have the confidence in me to do what my dad did. Because I know he was an amazing man that gave everything he had to Xenia schools. It makes me feel great to know they feel I can continue his work.”
But continuing Spahr’s work isn’t the only or main reason she was chosen.
“We considered her legacy and her history,” board President Cheryl Marcus said. “We also acknowledged the strengths that she brings as a long time educator, her long time volunteering in the community and her experience in terms of teaching and learning. She’s qualified on her own.”
Bartley was chosen from a group of four finalists and an initial pool of nine applicants. She has 24 years experience in education in Fairborn as a first grade teacher and has spent many years volunteering for youth organizations in Xenia. She operated the Wee Bucs youth wrestling program and has been president of the Xenia Touchdown Club for the last six years. She took the touchdown club from being part of Greene Giving to achieving its own 501(c)(3) status in 2018.
A 1990 Xenia High School graduate, Bartley now has the opportunity to help shape the future of her school district.
“I’m overwhelmed at the moment,” she said. “I’m honored obviously in the fact that they chose me. I am excited for sure to start the adventure. Ecstatic to see what I can bring to the board and what I can bring to the school district and help keep moving the school district in the right direction.”
Bartley will be sworn in during the meeting Monday, Jan. 14 and will take the seat that was occupied by her father for many years, ready to work with her fellow members.
“We all bring something different to the board and we all have different aspects of our life that make us an important piece of the board,” Bartley said. “The fact that I can bring 24 years of teaching experience to the board, I think is very invaluable. I’ve been through the ups and downs, the highs and lows and the money and no money. I get it.”
School board member Dr. Robert P. Dillaplain cast the lone no vote but did not elaborate as to why, yielding to the statements Marcus made.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.