PARMA, Ohio — New challenges are ahead of Parma City School Board.
They're working to regain the public's trust after the resignation of a former member.
“As long as they can move forward and keep pushing, and hopefully resolve the issues and do better, that's all we can hope for,” said Parma City School District parent, Eric Harper.
It's official: Parma City School Board is down one member following the resignation of Former Vice President Amanda Karpus.
“If this truly happened, what a selfish and thoughtless act. I cannot condone these reported actions as simple error and judgment,” said Parma City School Board President Steven Vaughn.
During a meeting held earlier Thursday at the Parma City School District Administration Center, Vaughn sits in the front of the room overcome with emotion.
“When I ran for the board over five years ago, a day like today was not any part of my thought process, a day that is requiring me to ask another board member, who I considered a friend to resign from her seat on the board,” said Vaughn.
Parma Police say Karpus is accused of misusing a credit card and then forging a document to cover it up.
“If money from our booster account has been taken away that was earmarked for the athletes of that sport were used for personal reasons, it's unscrupulous,” said Vaughn.
Now, Vaughn says he fears the ramifications of the accusations.
“All the work that the current board and the administrative team and the PCSD staff to earn the trust of our constituents, to finally get out of the shadows of our predecessors may be pushed back a decade,” said Vaughn.
Despite the latest controversy, parents like Harper say they still have faith in their district.
“It is what it is. Keep moving. Keep pushing and hopefully, they can bounce back and do a better job next time,” said Harper.
A goal the board and Superintendent Charles Smialek want to reassure to parents, staff and students.
“I think it's really important to point out that this is one person,” said Smialek. “This is not the action of the school district. This is not the action of a school board member beyond Mrs. Karpus who resigned today. Again, those are allegations and if they are true, they're certainly very unfortunate but our job now is to focus on the future.”
Cyndee Bratz will now serve as the new Vice President for the remainder of the school year.
In the meantime, the board is currently accepting applications for a new member up until Jan. 25 at 4 p.m.
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