Special to 1808Delaware

The November 2023 school election marked a major milestone for Westerville City Schools.

Voters re-elected Jennifer Aultman and elected first-time board member Louise Valentine to join Tracy DavidsonKristy Meyer and Dr. Nancy Nestor-Baker to make up the district’s first all-female Board of Education. Westerville joins Worthington City Schools as one of two all-female school boards currently serving in Central Ohio school districts.

“This milestone is a transformative leap towards equality which resonates far beyond the boardroom,” said Meyer, who serves as the board president. “It signals a paradigm shift where women not only contribute significantly to the educational workforce but also shapes its highest echelons of decision-making.” 

“For female students, it’s a beacon of empowerment, showcasing that leadership knows no gender bounds. This all-female board serves as a living testament to the limitless potential for women in every facet of their educational journey and beyond.”

The K-12 education workforce is largely powered by women, but in spaces where decisions are made, such as school boards, the composition often includes a higher ratio of men among the group. 

Westerville’s November board election bucked the trend among school board races across the state; Of the 1,533 board members elected or re-elected last fall, 65% were male, according to the Ohio School Boards Association.

The gender composition of school boards in Ohio and nationwide also is majority male. According to Ballotpedia and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), women made up 43% of school boards in Ohio and the United States during the 2022-23 school year. 

In addition to an all-female school board, the district reached another milestone recently. Interim Superintendent Angela Hamberg is the first female superintendent in Westerville history.

Source: Westerville City Schools

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