By Ally Faktor
Ms. Gretchan Ohlig was appointed as the newest member of the BOE on Jan. 10, filling the position of former BOE President Julia Walker, who resigned in November.
Seven candidates were interviewed publicly by the BOE on Jan. 3 for the position, but ultimately Ohlig was selected to replace Walker.
According to BOE President Mr. Richard Mattessich, the interview process was designed to learn why the candidates were running and what their qualifications were. The BOE then selected the most qualified candidate based on the needs of the district.
Mattessich said, “[Ohlig] left the impression when interviewed that she would hit the ground running, have a strong desire to serve the community and exhibit the problem-solving attributes that the BOE sought to replace.”
Said Ohlig: “I have worked with the BOE and members of the administration and was always impressed by their hard work and commitment to Westfield schools and students. I was delighted to have the opportunity to serve in such a capacity.”
According to westfieldnjk12.org, Ohlig will maintain this position from now until the the next BOE elections are held in April. At that time, a candidate will be elected to complete the remaining year of Walker’s three-year term.
Ohlig has been a volunteer in the Westfield community for many years. According to Ohlig, she served as President of the Jefferson School PTO and the Westfield Education Fund.
Ohlig has also been a member of the district’s Strategic Planning Council, which is responsible for creating Westfield’s current 2010-2015 Strategic Plan and deciding on issues related to land use, according to westfield.patch.com.
Said Ohlig: “I am looking forward to becoming more intimately familiar with our schools and forwarding an agenda that helps the district achieve its goals and enables all Westfield students to reach their highest potential as productive and responsible citizens.”
Ohlig said she is eager to get started with her new position. “There’s a lot to learn about every facet of our schools, students, staff, parents and the community.”