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Atway chosen to fill vacated school board seat

January 22, 2020
J.T. Whitehouse , The Town Crier

A four member Canfield Board of Education held a roundtable session on Jan. 15 to interview the five remaining candidates who desire to fill the vacant school board seat left last month when Craig Olson announced he was stepping down.

At the Wednesday session, held in the high school auditorium, Board of Education members David Wilkeson, Mike Roussos, Jennifer Kluchar and Traci DeCapua put in a long night that began with a two-hour session of questioning for the five candidates. Those candidates included Kimberly Urig, Dianna Tolen Perrico M.D., Jacquelyn Nohra Duda, Matthew Campbell, and Nader Atway.

Atway was not present in the auditorium, but was connected through a video-audio feed from a location in California. Atway was on a business trip, but wanted to take part.

Board President Wilkeson said the five were narrowed down from a much larger field.

"With 23 applications submitted to the Board, we feel the Board is in a unique position to create a well-rounded, diverse group of individuals to reflect our dynamic community and represent various viewpoints while making decisions in support of our school district," he said in a release prior to the meeting.

After the first round of interviews earlier this month, which consisted of a panel including members of the Board, administrators, teachers and non-teachers, the applicant pool was narrowed down to the five candidates.

At the meeting on Wednesday, Wilkeson opened it as a regular meeting, then moved into the two hours of questioning the candidates. The first segment included questions from the board and the second segment involved questions from the public.

At the end of the questioning, the four board members moved into executive session where they discussed the candidates. When they emerged from behind closed doors, they announced the acceptance of Nader Atway as the fifth board member.

Member-elect, Jenny Kluchar and Wilkeson were sworn in during the meeting, and Atway was as well, through the electronic feed.

Among some of the answers Atway gave during questioning was what he would look for in a superintendent. The father of four said the candidate would have to be all in for Canfield schools, be engaged with the staff and community, and be engaged with the students.

Atway was asked about his feelings on open enrollment, to which he replied, "I would want to learn more about it and know the pros and cons."

As for bullying and harassment, Atway said, "Each case needs to be looked at individually."

As to what challenges he saw for the coming years, he said electing a qualified superintendent and looking at the conditions of Canfield's school buildings.

Atway is a Pharmaceutical District Sales Manager.

In other business conducted during the regular meeting portion of Wednesday, the board did the following:

Set the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m. for the regular board meeting.

Set the Board's service fund at $5,000.

Designated the Vindicator and Town Crier as the district's official newspapers.



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