On June 30, 2016, Pat Emory, who has served on the Milford School District Board of Education for 15 years, stepped down from the board. Upon the end of his term as an at-large member, the board was reduced to seven in order to create an odd number of board members, reducing the risk of tie votes.
“I had decided that three consecutive terms, 15 years, was long enough for elected office,” Mr. Emory said. “It worked out well that my leaving allowed for the removal of the seat to create an odd number for voting purposes. During my tenure on the board, a lot of exciting things took place. Everything from expansion and construction of new schools and new educational programs to the dress code as well as increased security with the addition of two new Resource Officers. These accomplishments were done as a board. No one individual can take credit for it.”
Mr. Emory said he decided to run for the board 15 years ago because he was interested in education. He said he had two children in the district at the time and he felt that he could contribute to the growth and improvement of the district. Mr. Emory says that funding remains a major challenge in education. He said that the ability to pass referendums has become extremely difficult and funding cuts at the state level, combined with added federal mandates have placed significant burden on local districts.
“The funding system for public schools and the equalization program needs to be reviewed,” Mr. Emory said. “It’s no longer working and those districts that can’t pass referendums will be adversely affected.” Despite these challenges, Mr. Emory sees the future as bright for Milford. He said that Dr. Kevin Dickerson, who began working as the Superintendent on July 1, replacing Dr. Phyllis Kohel who retired at the end of the school year, will bring a new vision to the district. He also felt that new administrators and principals throughout the district would provide enthusiasm that often arrives with new leadership.
“I will miss being involved in all the school activities and having a hand in making positive change for the district,” Mr. Emory said. “However, if there is any way I can assist in any other capacity in the district, I would gladly do so if I were asked.” Although Mr. Emory has ended his term on the board, his family will still have a presence in the district. His son, Hunter, serves on the board and will continue serving over the next few years.
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