Press Release By Mentor School Board Members Rose Ioppolo and Annie Payne

By Brian Massie, A Watchman on the Wall

Press Release

Rose Ioppolo and Annie Payne – Mentor School Board Members 

OHIO STATE SENATOR JERRY CIRINO (R-KIRTLAND), CHAIRMAN OF THE SENATE WORKFORCE AND HIGHER EDUCATION COMMITTEE, SWEARS IN DAUGHTER ROSE IOPPOLO AT THE MENTOR SCHOOL BOARD ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING. 

REIGNING MAJORITY BOARD MEMBERS REFUSE TO COMPROMISE WITH MINORITY BOARD MEMBERS ON BOARD POSITIONS. A PORTION OF $11,000.00 PUBLIC TAX DOLLARS WILL CONTINUE TO BE ALLOCATED TOWARDS POLITICAL LOBBYING EFFORTS VIA THE OHIO SCHOOL BOARD ASSOCIATIONS MEMBERSHIP

1/5/2024 

During the Mentor Board of Education’s Organizational Meeting on January 4th, 2024, Rose Ioppolo was sworn in by her father Ohio State Senator Jerry Cirino. Rose was sworn in with her left hand placed on her family Bible and her right hand raised, as her dad read the oath of office, the final step in securing her position as a Mentor School Board member. 

Shortly after Ioppolo and new board member, Lauren Marchaza were sworn in, the nomination and election of board President and Vice President ensued. Ioppolo pointed out the importance of having balance in all board positions, specifically President and Vice President, as is common among divided boards in the area. (Riverside and Willoughby-Eastlake). This was done at last year’s organizational meeting, where a minority member was elected President. Ioppolo suggested that different perspectives must be represented given the results of the recent November election. (Ioppolo received the most votes {10,160, or 25.46%} out of five candidates, and a failed Permanent Improvement Levy.) Ioppolo stated that this meeting will set the barometer for how the board will function going forward, and suggested that Mrs. Payne should be President or Vice President, to balance the board, since Mrs. Cook, a majority member, was also nominated. A long list of accomplishments Payne has made over the past 2 years was presented to demonstrate her qualifications. Payne appreciated the nomination and explained that she is here to serve. She concurred with Ioppolo’s statements about balance. Payne also pointed out that the President and Vice President are on the Citizen’s Financial Committee, and given the recent failure of the P.I. Levy, it would be important to have multiple perspectives represented within that committee. However, board members voted as a majority on all positions, blocking Payne and Ioppolo, repeatedly. It was apparent that they had the majority and were unwilling to compromise for the sake of the district, even on mostly ceremonial positions. 

Another notable agenda item that was voted on was the contract and membership for $11,000 between the Ohio School Board Association and Mentor Schools. Ioppolo and Payne made remarks regarding the use of public tax dollars to fund an organization’s 501c4 political efforts. Payne reminded the board that OSBA’s member delegates voted down the parental rights platform that was to be added to OSBA’s legislative platform. Jeschelnig expressed that our board didn’t support the parental rights platform as well, due to the word “all” being included. Payne disagreed with Jeschelnig, stating that parents have a right to “all” aspects of their child’s education. Ioppolo noted that in 2022, the Mentor board chose not to renew the district’s National School Board Association membership due to its political leanings. Ioppolo and Payne voted against membership with OSBA. Cook, Jeschelnig, and Marchaza voiced their support for the platform and for the membership. The motion passed, 3-2. 

January 5h, 2024 Regarding the Jan. 4th Organizational Meeting 

This release is written on behalf of board members Rose Ioppolo and Annie Payne solely and does not represent a board statement, nor opinions of other board members.

Press Release Rose Ioppolo and Annie Payne -Mentor School Board Members 

Both Ioppolo and Payne noted after the meeting that the majority of members missed an opportunity to make some accommodations for the many voters who asked for change in this last election. This was clearly an orchestrated outcome. 

The next regular board meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 9th at 7pm at Paradigm. As referenced by Superintendent Heath at the Organizational Meeting, there will be several items on Tuesday’s agenda concerning conflicts within our current board policy, in regards to how committees and liaison positions are selected. 

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Categories: Education, Lake County Cities & Townships, Mentor

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