Meet Our Board

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Lakota Board of Education

Board of Education Members

Lakota Local Schools is governed by a five-member hires and evaluates a superintendent of schools and a treasurer of the board. The board's duties include the following:
  • Adopting an annual budget and appropriation measures.
  • Exercising its taxing power to provide funds for the operation of the district.
  • Considering and passing upon the recommendations of the superintendent in all matters of policy, appointment or dismissal of employees, salary schedules or other personnel regulations, courses of study, selection of textbooks, or other matters pertaining to the welfare of schools.
  • Informing the public concerning the progress and needs of the schools, and to solicit and weigh public opinion as it affects the schools.

Board members are elected at large for four-year terms. A member may serve unlimited consecutive terms. Board members are elected according to a schedule that staggers their term expiration dates. Officers serve a term of one year, and may be re-elected. The Board sets meeting dates in January for the entire calendar year.

Photo: Lakota Board of Education: Back L to R, Todd Parnell, Ben Dibble, Ray Murray. Front L to R, Julie Shaffer, Lynda O'Connor

Board Members

Ben Dibble 


A board member since 2010, Mr. Dibble has served in the lead role once before in 2012. His family moved to Liberty Township in 1995. He is active with the Lakota Optimist Club, co-founded Children's Performing Arts of Lakota, is an active supporter of the arts in the Lakota community, and has served on other Lakota-related committees over the years.


Ben has two Lakota East graduates, Bethany (Class of 2008) and Nathan (Class of 2011). He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Connecticut and is employed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise as a capability manager in the analytics and data management division.



Ben Dibble

Todd Parnell 
Vice President


Todd Parnell, a Division President with a 25-year background in corporate business, is serving his second term as the Board's Vice President.

Todd manages the Midwest and Eastern Operations of New Jersey-based Activate/DisplayWorks, and also has experience in providing marketing and communication solutions to companies worldwide. He holds a B.A. in Management from DePaul University and an M.B.A. from the Fisher School of Business at The Ohio State University.

Todd has lived in the Lakota School District for 21 years. He has children attending Heritage Elementary and Plains Junior Schools.

He serves on the Lakota Finance, Legislative, and Diversity Committees.


Todd Parnell

Lynda O'Connor 


Lynda has been active for many years in her community serving in a variety of leadership roles.  In addition to Lakota, her current board service includes: Boy Scouts of America Dan Beard Council; Butler Technology and Career Development Schools; The Faith Alliance of Southwest Ohio; Ohio School Board Association Southwest Regional Executive Committee; Partners in Prime; and the West Chester Liberty Character Council. 

She is the current Chair of the BSA Ft. Hamilton District (encompassing most of Butler County) and Chair of the Caring Community Collaborative (C3).  She is an active member of the West Chester Liberty Chamber Alliance, participating on the Government Issues and Ambassador teams, and the Leadership 21 Alumni Board. She remains active in her son's school and scout troop activities.

Her involvement with Lakota Schools began many years ago prior to becoming a board member in 2008. She served as a member of the Ohio State Superintendent of Education Parent Advisory Council in Columbus for seven years. Lynda and her family have lived in the Lakota district since 1991. Lynda's husband of thirty-two years is a retired military veteran and an instructor pilot for Delta Airlines. They are blessed with two sons, the oldest a graduate of Lakota and Ohio State University, and the youngest a Lakota graduate and current student at Ohio State University. She and her husband are originally from Chicago, Illinois.

Lynda obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Language Pathology from Elmhurst College and her Master of Education (Special Education) from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

She currently serves on the Lakota Community Engagement Committee, District Parent Council, Legislative Committee, and as the Ohio School Boards Association Legislative Liaison.

Lynda O-Conner photo

Lynda O'Connor

Ray Murray

Ray Murray on Twitter
Ray Murray on Facebook

Ray Murray has served on the School Board since January 2010. He is the father of three Lakota alumni. He lives in Liberty Township. 

Before joining the School Board, he was a member of the District Parent Council and volunteered on several superintendent’s advisory committees, including school facilities and school funding. A hospitality manager and developer, he holds a bachelors degree in criminology from Huron College with a minor in economics. He served as a police officer in suburban Chicago for 15 years and as a drug enforcement agent.

Ray serves on the Lakota Board Policy Committee, Diversity Committee and as the Board's representative to Butler County Technology and Career Development Schools.


Ray Murray

Julie Shaffer


Julie Shaffer began serving on the School Board in January 2012. She has educated herself extensively on Ohio public school funding, and shared that information with the community through a “School Funding 101” presentation she co-created.  Prior to serving on the Board, she served on the Lakota Finance Committee, an advisory committee composed of community members. She also has served as treasurer of the Lakota District Parent Council and as an officer of a number of parent-teacher organizations throughout the district. 

A resident of West Chester, Julie and her husband, Bill, have three children. She is a volunteer at her children’s schools: Endeavor Elementary, Plains Junior School, and Lakota West High School. Their oldest daughter is a Lakota West graduate and attends The Ohio State University.

Julie earned a bachelor of arts in economics with a minor in finance from Colby College in Maine, and has completed half of her MBA coursework. Her family moved to the Lakota area from Columbus in 2005. With 23 years of experience in benefits and finance, she is a licensed employee benefits representative. 

Julie serves on the Lakota Community Engagement Committee, Policy Committee, Finance Committee, Diversity Committee, and the District Parent Council.


Julie Shaffer

Contact Us

The Board of Education oversees district-wide issues and policies.

If you have individual concerns about a specific situation or student, it's best to first talk with the teacher, building principal, or school administrator. Lakota's goal is to work together with parents to resolve issues quickly, and staff members closest to the situation are better able to do so.  For a list of administrators, click here.