Ball State appoints board members for Muncie Community Schools

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MUNCIE, Ind. – Ball State University has chosen seven new board members for Muncie Community Schools.

This comes after the state took over the district amid major financial struggles and declining enrollment. The university approved the partnership with the school corporation in May.

State law called for the university trustees to appoint five board members. The other two came from recommendations from the Muncie mayor and the city council. According to the Muncie Star Press, these are the new board members:

  • WaTasha Barnes Griffin, director of the YWCA, an MCS graduate and a parent of MCS students
  • Dave Heeter, CEO of MutualBank and Muncie booster, graduate of MCS and BSU
  • Jim Williams, attorney at DeFur Voran and former judge whose community involvement includes the BY5 early-childhood-education initiative
  • Brittany Bales, special-education instructor at Ball State, a graduate of Southside High School and BSU, a former Muncie school teacher and parent of two Muncie elementary school students
  • Jim Lowe, head of engineering/facilities at Ball State and longtime volunteer at MCS, from which he graduated
  • Keith O’Neal, pastor of Destiny Christian Center International Church and owner of a day care center, attended MCS
  • Mark Ervin, attorney at Beasley & Gilkison and the only non-Muncie resident on the new board

Members say they want to make sure all students get the same opportunities that they had.

Officials plan to assign professional development liaisons in each school, encourage more volunteering from BSU students, look into expanding after school programs and develop an academic innovation plan. A community engagement council and expert panel will also be created.

The seven-member school board will start July 1.

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