GALLIA COUNTY — The Gallia County Local Schools Board of Education will welcome two new members next month.
Brent Schultz and Jeff Halley will begin their official terms starting January 1, 2018, although Halley has been serving as a interim board member since Scott Williamson resigned from the role in October. Melvin Carter is retired after a long tenure in education, and Williamson resigned earlier in 2017 due to a work conflict.
Halley brings a background of public service, having worked in the Gallia County Board of Elections for 30 years in multiple capacities. He stepped down from that association in January so he could file his candidacy in August. Halley and nearly all of his family are Gallia County natives and have gone through the county school district as students, and his father served for nearly 30 years on the Hannan Trace Board of Education and the Gallia Local BOE.
“I want to be able to bring my leadership experiences and be able to offer a different perspective on how to get things done and be more efficient,” said Schultz.
Schultz also brings a career of service, working in the armed forces for more than 20 years including a tour in Iraq. Schultz served as an officer in the Army commanding up to 300 soldiers. He graduated from the now defunct ROTC program at the University of Rio Grande and now works full time for the National Guard.
Both new members are natives of Gallia County and are products of the county school district.
“I don’t have an agenda, I’ve just always wanted to serve on the Board of Education,” said Halley. “I just want to make sure the tax payers dollars are being utilized to the best of their ability.”
Halley and Schultz both have priorities to manage the district in a fiscally sound and responsible way.
“I want to be able to ensure that we’re being fiscally responsible and that we’re preparing the students to graduate and be productive members of our society,” said Schultz.
Halley is also concerned with the district grade card that the State Board of Education issues annually. While both districts in Gallia County have received low letter grades this past year, Halley hopes to help improve that in any way he can. His hope is to help improve the county not only through improved education for students, but also improving the school districts to help entice more economic growth.
“If both school districts can (improve their letter grades), it helps the county completely. When you’re trying to get new industries into the county, these corporations look at your school district,” stated Halley.
Both Schultz and Halley are seeking to be servants in their time on the board of education.
“I know what our district has done in the past and I want to make it better,” said Schultz. “I am a product of the county schools, I’ve had a lot of success, and I just want to give back.”
“I’ve been a life long resident of the county, I’ve been a lifelong resident of Gallia Local School District,” said Halley. “I’ve always had a place in my heart for the school district. Hopefully in the next four years I’ll be able to help them.”
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342.