ONTARIO — Unless a meeting is scheduled sooner, the Ontario School Board of Directors will be discussing how to fill a vacancy during its meeting on April 25.
After hearing on Saturday that there was a vacancy on the board, the newspaper reached out to district personnel to confirm whether this was true.
“Confirmed,” Taryn Smith, public information officer for the district wrote in her email.
She said she had no other details at the time, but noted that “the resigned position is position #4.”
That position was held by Chairman Tom Greco, who voters elected during the Special District Election in May of 2021. His four-year term began in July that year. Greco won the vote for Position 4, which was formerly held by Derrick Draper.
Draper unofficially resigned from the position on April 19, 2021, when he walked out of an executive session, the same night the board formally censured he and member Eric Evans.
Although he resigned from that term, Draper was able to and still did run for Position 4 against Greco on the May 2021 ballot.
Now, it will be up to the board to fill that position.
Once the board receives written resignation of a member, it is then required to develop procedures as necessary to fill the vacant position.
Whomever is selected will be able to continue serving through June of 2025 until someone is elected into the position by voters that year.
The board normally has five members, giving it the ability to break tie votes. Without a fifth member, it leaves open the possibility that a decision could be split evenly resulting in no action happening.
The newspaper requested a copy of communication from Greco to either district personnel or board members that announced his resignation.
Smith provided that on Monday afternoon saying that she, Superintendent Nicole Albisu and Board Secretary Andrea Salazar had received the resignation via email on March 29.
Greco’s letter stated that he was resigning effective that day due to a decision that was purely family oriented. He and his wife, Gail, are moving to Star, Idaho, to be closer to their children and respective families, it said.
“My concern and attention for equal access for all children to quality educational experiences and opportunities has not diminished. I will simply attempt to contribute to this crucial effort in a different role,” Greco said.
While in Ontario, he has served in a variety of volunteer positions. This has included the board of directors for Four Rivers Cultural Center, Ontario Strategic Planning Team, Ontario Homeless Shelter Task Force, Malheur County Emergency Management Council and volunteer clinics, as well as mentored students at Pioneer Elementary School.
Greco is retired from the U.S. Army, where he earned the ranking of colonel. He was a civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army Mark Esper and Ryan McCarthy.
He also is the lead pastor of Ontario Community Church, and plans to remain in that position, according to his letter.
During his bid to be on the board, Greco stated that a focus was to be respectful in discourse, stating that the current board was being disrespectful and acting unprofessionally and, as such, setting a poor role model for children.
“I have enjoyed serving with my board peers to bring civility, constructive collaboration and a spirit of mutual trust and respect between board members and the district’s leadership team,” Greco said. “Words cannot adequately express how honored and privileged I have felt working with the incredible servant leaders in our district.”
He said that Albisu, along with principals, teacher and support staff in the district “are an extremely gifted team and a blessing to the children they teach and connect with each day.”
Greco thanked “those who supported and trusted me and those who taught me new and differing perspectives.”
Board member Blanca Rodriguez is currently vice chairwoman.