ROWVA Board adds new member to fill first resignation

Tom Martin
Galesburg Register-Mail
New ROWVA School Board member Amber Fleming reads the oath next to Board Vice President Scott Lake at the Monday, March 21,  school board meeting in Oneida. With the addition of Fleming the board is back up to five members and still has two more seats to fill.

ONEIDA — The ROWVA School Board voted unanimously Monday night to add Amber Fleming to the board.

Fleming, a nurse at St. Mary Medical Center in Galesburg, attended the meeting with her family and was seated on the board after reading an oath of office. She voted with the other four board members on several issues.

Fleming is a 2002 graduate of ROWVA and has three children in the school district, one in each elementary, junior high and high school. She's lived in the district all her life and this is her first time serving in public office.

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"I have advocated for the well being of people for years as a nurse; the school board position is an incredible honor," Fleming said after the meeting. "I was interested in the position because it provides an opportunity for me to bring my passion to care for others along with my professional calling and experience to serve the ROWVA district."

Amber Fleming

"We liked what we heard from her," Board Vice President Scott Lake said after the meeting. 

Fleming fills the seat vacated by longtime board member Rob Kalb who cited personal reasons for leaving Feb. 8. She was among six candidates to be interviewed for the board seat.

"It was amazing how tight the candidates were," Lake said. 

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Fleming brings to the board to five members. The board will now look to replace former board president James Haynes and board member Melissa Shepherd, each of whom resigned at the March 10.

Lake confirmed the other five candidate have applied again for the two positions and residents have until April 1 to submit applications for those board seats. He said the board will set a special meeting prior to the next regular meeting April 18 to interview candidates, this time with Fleming also in the interviews. He expects both new members to be seated

About 25 people attended the meeting.

In other business, the board heard from Thomas Leahy from the Illinois Association of School Boards about searching for a superintendent to replace Joe Sornberger, who will resign at the end of the school year. The IASB surveyed the community, staff and board members on a variety of criteria for a new superintendent. He made recommendations based on those results.

The board approved requiring that candidates to have both administrative and teaching experience and move to reside within the school district. They prefer a candidate who has superintendent experience, but will consider those without.

More:Superintendent, two board members, teacher resign from ROWVA School District Thursday night

The board approved Leahy's suggestion to close the application period on April 18. Leahy said he hoped to start interviews shortly thereafter and place a new superintendent in from mid-May to early June. Sornberger leaves the position June 30. He's taken a job in Jasper County Community School District near Effingham.