ASHTABULA — The four remaining members of the Ashtabula Area City schools board are seeking applicants to fill the seat left vacant by Tuesday’s resignation of Christine Seuffert.
The Board of Education must appoint a replacement by a majority vote of the remaining members no later than Aug. 11, according to the board’s policy.
Otherwise, the Ashtabula County Probate Court will make the appointment.
Once appointed, the new board member will serve until Jan. 1, 2024. If he/she wishes to remain on the board, they must run in the November 2023 election.
The legal qualifications for serving on a Board of education in Ohio are that a person must be 18 years of age, a United States citizen, a resident of Ohio for one year, and a resident of Ashtabula County and the school district for at least 40 days.
Interested persons may submit a letter of interest, no later than 4 p.m. July 20, to Mark Astorino, Treasurer, Ashtabula Area City Schools, 6610 Sanborn Road, Ashtabula, Ohio 44004, after which time interviews will be scheduled.
Seuffert resigned after accusations of inappropriate behavior with students came to light through an anonymous letter sent to the board in January.
The abuse allegedly took place more than 30 years ago when Seuffert was a teacher in the district.
The Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Office and county prosecutor investigated the accusations and interviewed alleged victims, concluding on April 25 that Seuffert’s conduct was well past the statute of limitations. Consequently, no criminal charges would be filed.
At the May 18 board meeting, all of the board members asked Seuffert to step down. She did not attend the June board meeting.
Board President William Niemi said Tuesday under legal advice received, the board has no comment.
Seuffert’s attorney, Christopher M. Newcomb of Conneaut, said Tuesday in a letter, “Ms. Seuffert has dedicated her life to the school district and community, and because of those many years of service, has not come to this decision lightly or easily. However, obvious recent events have made it extremely difficult for her to continue on this board any longer, personally and professionally.”