By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Sally Warner, a longtime parent activist in Cincinnati schools, will preside over the school board when the district makes a second crucial attempt - probably in May - to sway voters to pass a half-billion bond issue for unprecedented school construction here.
She was elected president of the school board Monday. Board member Florence Newell, an associate education professor at the University of Cincinnati, was voted in as vice president.
Ms. Warner said the passage of the bond issue, which failed in November, would be a primary focus of the months ahead.
Speaking before the board, Ms. Warner also stressed the need to accelerate students' academic achievement, especially as the board and administration re-evaluate the strategic plan for the struggling 41,200-student district this year.
"While we are committed to the overall strategic direction of recent reforms, we need to assess our strengths and weaknesses, see what is working and what is not, and redouble our efforts to ensure that the promise of the plan is fulfilled - that each and every student will meet the high academic standards of this district as well as the high expectations of our community," she said.
Ms. Warner, 50, has been a board member since 1997 and served last year as vice president. She is business manager for Thomas R. Warner, Architect, the Columbia- Tusculum firm that Ms. Warner and her husband own. She has four children, three of whom graduated from district schools and one who attends Clark Montessori.
She's a former teacher and soccer volunteer, referee and coach, with a keen knowledge of the school district that comes from more than two decades of being an involved parent. Long before being elected to the board, Ms. Warner attended nearly every school board meeting and served on committees for several schools.
She replaces board member Rick Williams, who served as president for three years.
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