Board of Education

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Board of Education

About the Board

The Board of Education of the Harrison Hills City School District consists of five members who are residents of the District. The Board elects its President and Vice President in an annual organizational meeting. The Board formulates and adopts written policies regarding personnel, administration of pupil personnel, educational programs and instructional materials, facilities and equipment, finances, and public relations for the quality education of the youth of the District. You can learn more about the Board of Education by reading Chapter 1 of the Board Policy Manual.

Board Members

Mr. D.J. Watson, Board Member

Mr. D.J. Watson

Board President

Mr. J Melvin Allen, Board Vice President

Mr. J Melvin Allen

Board Vice President

Mr. Edward Banks, Board Member

Mr. Edward Banks

Board Member

Mrs. Deborah Kenny, Board President

Mrs. Deborah Kenny

Board Member

Mrs. Tracy Mattern, Board Member

Mrs. Tracy Mattern

Board Member

I have been a HHCSD Board Member since early 2016. I take great pride in graduating from Harrison Central in 2004 and then earning a Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio University following my time at HCHS. I have spent my entire adult life building a career in the juvenile justice system, working directly with many of the youth in our District’s communities. I worked with Harrison County Juvenile Court for 13 years as the Community Service Coordinator, and I’ve been with the Belmont-Harrison Juvenile District in Saint Clairsville for nine years, currently serving as the Executive Director after holding various positions throughout the agency. Additionally, in 2018 a close friend and I launched what is now a growing small business in Harco Media Solutions, a company that I now solely own and operate.

I currently serve on the Ohio University Eastern Foundation Advisory Board, as well as the Scholarship Committee of the Harrison Central Alumni Association. I’m a proud member of the Huskies Sports Foundation and the New Athens Vol. Fire Dept. and in May of 2019, I was elected to the Executive Board of the Ohio Juvenile Detention Director’s Association.

I regularly attend meetings as a member of the Harrison County Domestic Violence Task Force, and recently joined the Harrison County Drug Abuse Prevention Coalition’s effort to combat the developing opioid epidemic and substance abuse issue in our community. I’ve also been a certified Crisis Management Instructor since 2014. Some of my most rewarding work in our communities came in 2015, when a group of my close friends and I founded the Y.E.S. Team (Political Action Committee) and worked to successfully pass the bond issue that built our new school campus.

Growing up in Hopedale, I had the unique experience of attending school in all three of our District’s remaining buildings before they closed at the end of the 2019 school year (Hopedale-Elementary, Scio- Junior High, Cadiz- High School). I look back on those experiences with great appreciation for the people that impacted my life in those years. My desire to be involved in our community is a direct reflection of the people that helped to shape me as a younger person. Today, I am honored to serve as a member of that very same team, and I treat my role with the upmost of commitment in doing so. I genuinely enjoy watching people from our area succeed, and it is not likely that I can find a better position to witness so many success stories. For a person that has spent their entire adult life working with kids, I am blessed to have this opportunity to serve as a Board of Education member. I want to say thank you to all of our staff and support personnel for their hard work in the lives of our young people. It is a good time to be a part of the Harrison Central community!

I was born, raised, educated in eastern Kentucky. I married Gloria Jean Spencer while in college. We came to Freeport: Harrison County to stay six months, but the Vietnam War interfered with higher education goals, but throughout my teaching career I did accumulate over 170 additional hours.

Gloria and I raised and educated two daughters. Kimberly Berger has a Masters Degree and Dr. Amanda Caswell teaches at the university level. We have four granddaughters. The second granddaughter Paige Byers, is our fifth generation teacher.

I had taught for thirty years in Harrison County when our daughter Amanda returned from college and stated that her Lakeland High School education was “adequate” but that I needed to bring education in Harrison County into the 21st. century. I ran for the Board of Education. I originally served from 1998-2002. I had just left the classroom. Fellow board members often were in amazement when we discussed areas to cut costs. My term saw the closing of Lakeland High School, Jewett-Scio High School, and the formation of Harrison Central. I lost the reelection and was now a voter and observer of the Harrison County education for the next eight years. As an educator and observer I could not sit back and watch what was happening in our district. I ran and was elected again for the 2010-2014 term. I am presently on the 2018-2022 term. I serve on the CORE team that represents the board for the design and construction of ‘our new school’. As you can see, I have been associated with Harrison County education for some 52 years. For most of this time, money for education was a major problem. Drilling and fracking has changed that! I believe ‘our new building’ is a major part of the puzzle to bring Harrison County into the 21st century.

A 1991 graduate of Cadiz high school and lifelong resident of Harrison County, my entire career has been devoted to public service. First working within our community as a police officer for the Cadiz police department and later transitioning into the adult justice system. I have worked for the past 25+ years with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections holding various roles to include correction officer, security supervisor, Warden and my current role of South Region Director. I have always worked to impact change in the lives of those I am entrusted to help.

My wife Kristi and I have 3 children currently enrolled in Harrison Hills City School District and spend a great deal of our time supporting all HC students in various district activities and events. Over the past years, I have served the school district as a member of the HHCSD business advisory board, president of the HC volleyball parents’ organization and volunteering wherever I could assist. I firmly believe that the success of our students requires collaboration between the school district, parents and the community, which was a driving force behind my decision to join the HHCSD Board.

As a member of the First Church of Christ in Cadiz, I am honored to serve as one the congregational Elders. In this role, I take on many tasks to include strategic planning, facilitating small group studies and even occasionally delivering a sermon! I am a member of Flushing Masonic Lodge #298, Ohio Wardens and Superintendents Association and the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice. Following High School, I received my Ohio Peace Officers Certification from Jefferson Community College, associate degree in Criminal Justice from Belmont Technical College and my bachelor’s degree in Corrections Administration from Bellevue University.

A 15-year member of the Harrison Hills City School District Board of Education, I also belong to the First Church of Christ in Cadiz. I’m one of our church members that run our service’s video portion, serve as treasurer, and volunteer as much as I can. I’m very lucky to have a wonderful church family.

I am married to Tom Kenny, who has coached in our district for many years but I would say is most known as “The Voice of the Huskies” not only to our students and fans but surrounding districts as well. Together we have 2 children: Ty Kenny is a teacher and coach for Harrison Central and also a registered respiratory therapist; Taylar Kenny also has coached for Harrison Central and is an Occupational Therapy Assistant, with scheduled graduation in 2021 to become a licensed Occupational Therapist.

My husband Tom and I have volunteered for over 10 years with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. We have assisted in granting close to 100 wishes for children, have met some wonderful families over the years and stayed in touch with several of them.

In conclusion, if someone would have told me 25 years ago that I would be on the school board, much less the President of the Board, I would have thought that they were crazy. I was shy and backward; however, I am so thankful someone asked me to join the Board and my husband supported me in this endeavor, as it is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I love knowing our students and their accomplishments. We really do have amazing students and staff and I would not have known this had I not gotten involved. So, I strongly encourage everyone: step out of your comfort zone, don’t be afraid, you may just find you are stronger than you knew and have so much to offer.

I have lived in Hopedale my entire life. I attended Hopedale Elementary and Cadiz High School, class of 1993. I have a BA degree from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and an AA degree from Jefferson Community College. I have worked as the Associate Director of Financial Aid at Franciscan University for the past 16 years helping students to afford college. I see how well educated and prepared they are to enter college, how confident and excited they are to further their education and make an impact on society. This is what I want for the students of Harrison Hills. I want them to never doubt there ability to succeed in college or the workforce. This is the main reason I ran for school board. I want our children to feel prepared and competitive as they graduate. They need to know that with hard work and dedication they can have a very successful life.

My husband Glenn and I have been married for 21 years and have three children—Hannah, Jacob and Andrew. We are active members of the First Church of Christ in Cadiz and do our best to keep up with our family’s active lives. With Hannah just graduating in 2018 (currently attending Franciscan University as a Nursing major), Jacob currently at Harrison Central and Andrew at Harrison East, we are completely absorbed into the school system. Being a board member has allowed me the opportunity to understand the educational process within Harrison Hills. Luckily, I was able to join the board in 2015, right after the passing of the levy to build our new PreK-12 facility. It has been such an exciting time to be a member. I currently serve on the following committees within the board—staff/administrative interviews, contract negotiations and safety committee. The involvement in each committee has been challenging, but also has helped me to expand my knowledge of our school district. I look forward to the opening of our new school and am so happy for the many opportunities it will give our students, staff and administration.

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