The Benton Harbor Area Schools Board of Education has begun a new year with a clearer idea of its role in the district. On Tuesday, the board met with district CEO Robert Herrera and agreed to hold its regular meetings each month on the Thursday before Herrera’s CEO meeting the following Tuesday. This way, the board can advise the CEO on any action he might take. New board President Steven Mitchell told WSJM News having more input will be a benefit.
“I think it’s good for the taxpayers because now we will be able to correspond with our taxpayers on what is going on in the schools,” Mitchell said. “For the last few months, we have not been able to give them any answer because we had none and so I think this is a step in the right direction.”
The school board will serve in an advisory role. Mitchell was named president at Tuesday’s meeting, while Joseph Taylor was appointed to a vacancy and also named vice president. Taylor told us things are looking up.
“Last year, there wasn’t enough clarity, and now I think they’ve kind of clarified things so we can move forward and work together so it’s not just a leadership role for the superintendent, it’s the board and superintendent jointly,” Taylor said.
Taylor was sworn into his new two-year term Tuesday. Also sworn in were Trustees Lue Buchana and Patricia Rush. Another recently-elected trustee, Matthew Bradley, was not present to be sworn in. Trustee Lisa Gulley then resigned, creating a new vacancy. She said she needed more time for family.