Xenia narrows down her student council search to four candidates; some familiar faces

There are four candidates left on Xenia’s public school board for the board seat vacated last month by Pam Callahan.

At a special meeting on Friday, the four current board members reviewed seven applications and decided to interview four of the seven applicants: Cheryl Markus, Jennifer Marietta, Melva “Cookie” Newsom, and Joshua Smith.

“Our primary goal is to select the candidate who best meets the needs of our students, families, staff, and the district as a whole,” said Joshua Day, president of Xenia’s Board of Education. “We were delighted that there were so many applicants for this position and I look forward to meeting those who were selected for interview as we go through the process of choosing the best person to complete this term.”

Interviews with four are scheduled for Saturday, March 25 or Monday, March 27.

The vacancy must be filled within 30 days.

The newly appointed member will be sworn in at the next board meeting on April 10 and will serve until the end of Callahan’s remaining term, which ends on December 31, 2023.

Four candidates:

  • Cheryl Markus was a member of the XCS Board of Education from 1994 to 2001 and again from 2014 to 2021. Marcus has served on several boards and she volunteers for local community groups including current positions at the Xenia Public Schools Foundation and high schools that work. She has received many awards for her many years of service.
  • Jennifer Marietta was previously a member of the XCS Board of Education from 2017 to 2021. Marietta has served as a Justice of the Peace in Green County Juvenile Court as well as Associate Director of the Green County Public Defender’s Office and currently owns and operates Marietta Law LLC in Xenia. She has served on several other boards, including as Chair of the Ethics and Complaints Committee of the Green County Bar Association and the City of Xenia Board of Recreational Arts and Community Service (BRACA).
  • Melva “Cookie” Newsom high school graduate Xenia, who taught in the district for 19 years. Newsom received her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton and has been a professor at several colleges and universities.
  • Joshua Smith is a software developer with many years of experience in IT and web support. He currently works as a civilian programmer for WPAFB and also works for Blue52 Productions in a similar capacity. He is an active volunteer in his church and community.

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