Catherine Ubry, Staff Writer

The Talawanda Board of Education has elected a new president to office. Mark Butterfield, eight-year member of the board, took office starting Jan. 9.

Butterfield, a graduate of Talawanda High School and Miami University, has been a long-time citizen of Oxford as well as a member of he Board of Education.

Butterfield graduated from Talawanda High School and went to Miami University. He lives in Oxford and was first elected to the board is 2003. He previously served as vice-president of the board.

As for large changes possibly occurring in the district this year, Butterfield said the district’s main goal will be to continue the high academic performance of the schools. “We will be bringing in the new high school, which will be an obvious agenda item on the list making sure it closes out appropriately and on budget,” Butterfield said. “There is a lot of activity with legislation that we must keep our eye on how it will effect financial structure as well.”

Holli Morrish, director of communications and public relations for the Talawanda Board of Education, said via email that Butterfield is highly respected in the community.

“I have been told by community members that they ‘appreciate him very much’ because they feel ‘he understands what they want and because he is one of them’,” Morrish said.

Butterfield will be responsible for managing board meetings, along with other executive duties, such as signing contracts and developing and planning monthly business. The President will meet with the Superintendent and Treasurer, serve as the primary spokesperson for the Board, and will also work with the schools’ administration to determine what is best for the students, staff, and community, according to Morrish.

“We are elected by citizens of the school district and our main objective is to oversee the operations of the school to monitor the fiscal status and make sure it’s performing correctly,” Butterfield said. “We have to make sure things like required bonds and levies are taken care of.”

Morrish added via email, “It is important to have leadership from the community at large, but also from the business community. It is important to have multiple perspectives in public education that help represent the many different families and students.”

Miami University sophomore Courtney Bowers said, “I know there’s a new high school opening up in Talawanda soon so I definitely think this will be good for the district with it being such a big year and all. It will be good to start off the year fresh.”