The Greencastle School Board will have a new member in place when it conducts its July meeting.
Michael White, a lifelong local resident and chemist at Buzzi Unicem (formerly Lone Star Industries), has been selected by the Greencastle Township Advisory Board for one of its two appointed positions on the school board.
White fills the seat formerly held by Jack Berry for almost 16 years. Berry had to resign early this year when he moved from Greencastle Township, and the school board named Todd Sutherlin as the interim member in late January.
White and Sutherlin both applied for the four-year term that begins July 1. White was chosen in a unanimous vote of the advisory board (comprised of Karen Ambler, Charles Miles and Marilyn Clearwaters).
Greencastle Township Trustee Steve Butts, who assumed his post Jan. 1 as the successor to longtime Trustee Thelma Bumgardner, called it "one of the hardest decisions this office has had to deal with."
"They were two exceptional candidates," Butts said. "Both with degrees and both represented by extraordinary resumes."
Butts said the board was impressed by White's "great work ethic and strong desire to serve his community and the school system, as well as a willingness to work the extra hours to help solve the complex problems that can arise within a school system."
The school board, Butts pointed out, is facing such imminent and important decisions as hiring a new superintendent to succeed the departing Bob Green and a new Tzouanakis School principal to succeed the retiring Dan TeGrotenhuis.
"Our local schools are in far better shape than most of the surrounding counties," Butts added. "I believe that is due to our appointed members and the leadership and experience of Superintendent Green."
Butts also praised Sutherlin for "stepping up and filling the void" when the board vacancy occurred in January. "It's people like Todd in our community that help make our school system strong," he said.
White will join fellow Greencastle Township appointee Kelly Lewis (who has two years left on his term) on the five-person appointed board. Michael Dean is the Madison Township appointment, while the two City of Greencastle appointments, made by the City Council, are Monica Fennell and GCSC Board President Bruce Stinebrickner.
The Greencastle School Board regularly meets the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at Ridpath Primary School. The June 8 meeting, however, has been postponed and not yet rescheduled.