The Oregon school board on Wednesday voted 4-0 for Mike Csehi to fill the seat left vacant by former board president Dick Gabel, who resigned on June 8.
The board had 30 days from the date of Gabel’s resignation to fill the seat.
“Had we not selected someone on Wednesday, we would have had to hold another special meeting before the next regular meeting to meet the 30 day window,” said board member Jeff Ziviski.
Csehi, who lives on Turnau Road in Curtice, is director of technology for the Kateri Catholic School District in Oregon. He was employed by the Oregon City Schools district for 35 years, including 14 years as a teacher in the Industrial Technology Department, five years as Adult Education Supervisor and Occupational Work Experience coordinator, a Technology Coordinator, and a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee at Clay High School.
He received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education, Technology Education – Industrial Education k-12, from Bowling Green State University in 1976, and a Masters Degree in Education, Computer Technology, from Bowling Green State University in 2008.
“He’s passionate about Oregon schools, he’s passionate about the kids,” board member P.J. Kapfhammer said about Csehi. “We had great candidates. He just stood out above them. Everyone talked about how to make it better, how to work together, everyone covered the bases. Everything Csehi said had passion in it. He started out by saying Oregon Schools were good to him, good to his family. He wanted to give back to the Oregon schools district. Everything was about him giving back.”
Board meetings this year have frequently devolved into arguments, particularly between Kapfhammer and Gabel. A new board member, said Kapfhammer, “will help clear the air.”
“There will be times when Csehi and I disagree, but it will never be personal. We can agree to disagree, and still go to dinner an hour later. It’s going to be a good thing going forward,” said Kapfhammer.
Csehi beat out 10 other candidates interested in the seat, including:
• Paul Magdich
• Sue LaPointe
• John Marty Schloegl
• Ronald Davenport
• Scott Winckowski
• Gregory Row
• Tracy Bolander
• Teri Boros
• James Stewart
• Michael Pappas
Besides Csehi, the board chose Magdich, LaPointe and Schloegl as finalists at a special meeting on Monday, with plans to interview each at the meeting on Wednesday, according to Ziviski.
“Csehi was the second candidate we interviewed,” Kapfhammer said after Wednesday’s meeting. “We told everyone we might be making a decision tonight, and he was still there when we made our decision.”
Despite the heated arguments this year, the board is getting along better, said Kapfhammer.
“I want to get back to making Oregon schools as good as it can be. The board’s getting along, everyone’s great. We have an open line of communication. I’m looking forward to getting back to why I ran, and getting the opportunity for the schools to be great again. It’s refreshing. I kind of got worn out a little bit. Now, I can’t wait for the next meeting to improve our district,” said Kapfhammer.
Mayor Mike Seferian was scheduled to swear in Csehi at 9:30 a.m. in Oregon council chambers on Friday, said Kapfhammer.