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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

School Board Praises Outgoing Member, Settles Into New Space

Outgoing school board member John Weyer accepts a small gift from Board Chair Jeff Beach.
By Robin Gee

For its December meeting, the Fort Thomas Independent School Board met for the first time at its new location in the 20 North Grand Building. The newly renovated building houses a new Professional Studies Center and other related programs for the schools and provided the perfect backdrop for the last meeting of 2018.

RELATED: Student Professional Studies Center, Maker Space of Fort Thomas Independent Schools to Open at 20 Grand

While board members and community members alike were excited to have a large and beautiful space in which to meet, it was also a bittersweet meeting for some as they said goodbye to school board member John Weyer.

Board members took the opportunity to thank him and express hope that he will continue to serve the schools on committees and in other ways.

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A lifelong community member and Highlands High School graduate along with his wife Tonya, Weyer has four children who have attended Fort Thomas Schools. Their youngest will graduate next year.

Weyer has a keen interest in athletics, serving as Ruth Moyer soccer coordinator, Ruth Moyer boosters basketball coach and past president of the Highlands Athletic Boosters Association. He also serves on the Highlands Middle School Site-Based Decision-Making Council.

Praise for Weyer

Colleagues noted that Weyer brought a new prospective to the board.

"I didn’t know John before he was elected but he has become a friend and a very valued member of this board. I am very proud of the work that we’ve done together," said Board Chair Jeff Beach.

Board member Brad Fennell said Weyer brought a new voice and new ideas to the board. "One thing about this board is we have a vast array of beliefs but we work together collaboratively to get things done. We realize the importance of that. And John has absolutely participated as well. I’ve been here a long time and he opened my eyes to things I didn’t know."

"I knew John quite a bit before he came on this school board, however, I agree with Brad, he has taught us to open our eyes to a lot of different ideas," added Vice Chair Lisa Duckworth.

Longtime board member Karen Allen has known Weyer since they were in kindergarten together at Johnson Elementary. "We’ve been friends for a long time. We don’t always agree, but I don’t want a board that always agrees…John has brought questions that those of us who’d been around for a long time had not even thought to ask. And he made a lot of good points, and things changed because of some of the questions he asked."

School Superintendent Karen Cheser noted, "I have never seen someone with such attention to detail and such a steward of the taxpayers’ money, while also taking care of people. When John asks questions, many times they are things we hadn’t thought of and that’s really important to have on a board of any kind."

Proud of Fort Thomas schools

Weyer said, while he was not comfortable with the spotlight, he would take the opportunity to say how much the community and the schools mean to him. "This is an unbelievable place, the kids come first, the parents are so involved…The school system has done wonderful things for my four children… I’m so very proud. I just want everyone in the community to know we are in a wonderful place," he said.

"We are moving full speed ahead, and I’m just very proud to have been a part of it for four years…so thank you."

Newly elected board member Ann Meyer joins the board in January.

A few photos of the new 20 Grand space

The new board room at 20 Grand Avenue accommodates more people in a comfortable space.

The front lobby of 20 Grand Avenue offers a clean, modern vibe.

In addition to more space, the board room is equipped with improved technology for presentations.


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