ASHLAND -- Two Ashland parents joined the Ashland City Schools Board of Education Monday evening.
Brandon Wells and Dustin Kruty were sworn into their new roles, replacing former board members Bryan Lefelhoc and Lindsey Saffle, who did not seek re-election.
Wells and Dustin ran unopposed. Wells will serve for four-year seats, as he applied for one of the two vacant seats, while Kruty will serve only through 2021, as he applied to finish out the remainder of a different board member's term.
Current board member Zackery N. Truax, who has been serving in the unexpired term vacated by Will Gravitt, ran unopposed for the other four-year seat, which opened the shorter term for Kruty.
Truax was named school board president at Monday's meeting, taking the former role of board member Dr. James Wolfe. Mike Heimann was chosen as vice president. Both were the only nominees for their respective roles, and neither faced any opposition.
Kruty is a 1999 Ashland High School graduate, who currently has four children in Ashland City Schools. Two are in second grade, and the others are in sixth and tenth.
He works as an insurance agent for the Spreng-Smith Insurance Agency.
In regards to how he'll approach negotiations with the Ashland City Teachers Association, he expressed optimism.
"We'll be just fine. We'll all get through this together," he said.
Wells is the director of development for the Ashland Salvation Army. He has lived in the Ashland community for most of the past 15 years, and his three children attend Ashland City Schools. They are in third, sixth and eighth grade.
"I just (saw it as) an opportunity to serve the community. I'm always looking for anyway I can serve here," he said.
Wells has experience as a teacher, athletic director and coach. He has lived in Texas and Akron prior to coming to Ashland.
About the ongoing negotiations, he too is hopeful.
"I think we're all trying to get to the same place... We want to be part of the solution," Wells said.
Wells and former BOE member, Lefelhoc, were also appointed to the Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center Board of Education.
According to a December 20 news release, the BOE will await the results of the fact finding process before further negotiating with the ACTA. The school board had intended to meet that morning to pass an agreement between the two parties, but the meeting was canceled late the prior evening after the ACTA's membership voted down the board's proposal, reportedly by a narrow margin.