School board picks new member

By Scott Halasz - [email protected]

XENIA — Gilberto Esparza has been selected by the Xenia Community Schools Board of Education to fill a vacancy on the board.

Esparza, 58, replaces Arch Grieve, who resigned in August after accepting a new position with the Dayton Regional STEM school. The 13-year Xenia resident will be sworn in during the board’s regular meeting Sept. 14, scheduled to be held at Warner Middle School and will serve until the term expires Dec. 31, 2017.

“I think our schools, being the community that we are and the eight schools that we have, are doing some amazing things under the leadership of our current superintendent and the board of directors we have,” Esparza, an adult probation officer with Greene County Common Pleas Court, said. “I’m just kind of excited to be part of the process.”

Esparza was chosen out of a pool of eight candidates.

“The field was very stiff,” said board President Dr. Robert Dillaplain. “All of them were highly qualified. However after hours of investigation and analysis, the board made the decision to select … Esparza as the best individual to fill the current vacancy. His primary strength and contribution to the board is his perspective on kids experiencing difficulties in life and how to offer a pathway to correction which will lead to late academic success.”

Before becoming a probation officer Esparza worked with kids who were less fortunate.

“I have a heart for at-risk kids,” he said. “I came from a background where I worked for northern Kentucky schools as a prevention coordinator.”

In addition to experience with at-risk kids, Esparza thinks his background will provide a unique view to the five-member board.

“I think I bring a freshness,” he said. “I’m thinking I’m going to bring a different perspective that maybe doesn’t come from (someone with) an education background.”

When he’s not working with paroles, Esparza can be seen volunteering in the community. In the upcoming Air Force Marathon, Esparza will be assisting a double amputee who is entered as a hand cyclist. He has also helped raise money for first responders in Greene County who get hurt or become ill and have no sick leave left.

“I just really got involved with our city,” he said.

And now he is even more involved.

By Scott Halasz

[email protected]