Michael Pearl Appointed to School Board

Michael Pearl Appointed to Lakota Board of Education
Posted on 09/14/2020
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African American maleThe Lakota Board of Education unanimously appointed Michael Pearl to the school board at its Sept. 14 meeting. 

A Lakota parent and resident of Liberty Township, Pearl has been the Recreation Center Director for the St. Monica’s Recreation Center through the Sisters of Transfiguration since 2011. He is also the pastor at the New Day Baptist Church in Lincoln Heights. He and his wife, Bridgette, have been married for 23 years and have two children, Jasmyn and MJ, both graduates of Lakota East High School.

Pearl believes that serving on the Board is “a great way for me to give back to a community and district that’s given so much to me and my family...This is a way to serve the community in an even bigger capacity.” 

“We are excited to have Mr. Pearl join us in serving our students, staff, families and community,” said Board President Brad Lovell. “He brings a deep dedication through community service and volunteerism, in addition to life experiences that will add tremendous value to our governing board.” 

The Board held a special meeting on Sept. 11 to review the 50 applications in an executive session. While the Board had agreed to interview 14 applicants prior to moving to executive session, after reviewing the applications, that number increased to 16. “We are pleased that so many of our community members were interested in serving on the board,” said Lovell. “It was a very difficult decision given the high caliber of applicants.”

Because this was not an election, all four board members wanted to give the community an opportunity to share their thoughts on what should be considered when replacing Todd Parnell, who was asked to resign by the Board on Aug. 27. The district encouraged participation in a community-wide ThoughtExchange that asked, “What qualifications should the Lakota Board of Education consider when appointing a new member?”

Over 320 people participated in the exchange, with 269 thoughts shared. The top five rated qualifications shared were:

  1. The member should prioritize education over political views or positions;
  2. A strong supporter of public education;
  3. Equity;
  4. Not looking for political gain; and 
  5. A person who is supportive of building diverse, inclusive, equal access to all, and (a) competitive educational school system.

Click here to view all of the responses, as well as emerging themes from the exchange.

Pearl’s first meeting will be the scheduled work session on Sept. 28 where he will join Lovell and Vice President Kelley Casper, along with members Lynda O’Connor and Julie Shaffer.

Pearl, who also serves on the board of the Boys and Girls Club of West Chester/Liberty and coached for the district for almost 10 years, is looking toward the future. “I like to be very optimistic,” he said. “I know that we are in challenging times in a lot of ways. My agenda is to keep the kids first and to support (Superintendent) Matt (Miller), the administrators and teachers to keep the district moving forward.” He continued, “I’m looking forward to working with the other board members...to make the best decision for the kids.”