NELSONVILLE - Two new members from Perry County have been selected to serve on Hocking College's board of trustees. Tom Johnson and Joseph Ogden were selected by a caucus of school board presidents from Athens, Hocking and Perry counties.
NELSONVILLE — Two new members from Perry County have been selected to serve on Hocking College’s board of trustees. Tom Johnson and Joseph Ogden were selected by a caucus of school board presidents from Athens, Hocking and Perry counties.
Johnson and Ogden will complete the unexpired terms of Larry Rentschler and Darlene Wells, both of Perry County, who resigned from the board before the completion of their terms, which end August 31, 2015.
Because the two vacancies were left by Perry County residents, candidates from Perry County were especially encouraged to apply. Due to regulations restricting the number of government agency employees who may serve as trustees, Johnson will not be sworn into service until the March Board of Trustees meeting.
Johnson is the mayor of the village of Somerset, located northwest of New Lexington. He retired in 2003 from a career in international banking. He last worked as senior vice president of Standard Chartered Bank. He now devotes his time to public service efforts in local civic and economic development, historic preservation and the arts and heritage tourism. Johnson is a graduate of Ohio State University, and has an MBA from Henley Management College in England.
“I’m passionate about helping strengthen Hocking College as part of a partnership with residents of Perry County that has the potential to positively impact our community as a great place to work and live,” Johnson wrote in his letter of interest. “The college is located in a low income area that suffers from lack of economic opportunity. I believe a strong collaboration between community colleges, local governments, economic development efforts and community based organizations can result in transformational changes.”
Ogden, of New Lexington, has been president of family-owned Ogden Insurance Agency since 1976. He has served on several boards, such as the New Lexington Board of Education and the Lions Club. He also attended Hocking College.
Hocking College trustees are appointed one of two ways — by the governor or by a caucus of area school board presidents. The governor appoints three of the nine board members. Those three are currently Mike Brooks, Mike Budzik and Gary Edwards.
The caucus appoints the remaining six. The other caucus-appointed members are currently Andy Stone (vice chair), Keith Taulbee (chair), Robert Troxel and Paula Tucker. The school district presidents represented in the caucus are from Athens City Schools, Athens-Meigs Educational Service Center, Logan-Hocking Schools, Nelsonville-York Schools, New Lexington Schools and Perry-Hocking Educational Service Center.
The college has had the two vacancies since the summertime, when both Rentschler and Wells resigned. Rentschler, of New Lexington, left to travel to Macedonia with the Peace Corps. Wells, of Somerset, had to leave due to a change in her job responsibilities. In her letter of resignation, Wells wrote she left because her new job required weekly out-of-state travel.
Others who expressed interest in the position included Dean Wilson, a judge in Perry County; Steve Wheeler, of New Straitsville who works with Tri-County Career Center; Judith Maxson, of Millfield who previously served as Hocking College’s provost and vice president of academic affairs until her retirement in 2009; and Garry Hunter, of the Athens County-based law firm Garry E. Hunter Law Offices.