The Orange Board of Education appointed Angela Arnold to the vacant seat on Monday. Ms. Arnold, who has extensive experience in marketing and education technology, will be sworn in within the next two weeks.

Melanie Weltman resigned from the school board in December due to her election to Pepper Pike City Council. There were 18 applicants for the vacant seat, and the school board appointed Ms. Arnold following an executive session. Her term will expire on Dec. 31, 2023. If she wants to remain on the board, Ms. Arnold would have to run in the fall 2023 election.

“I would like to leverage the community relationships I forged professionally, as a business owner, and as a mom, and look for opportunities to involve other members of the Orange schools community,” Ms. Arnold, 47, of Moreland Hills said on Tuesday. “This is a time when we can pitch in as a community and work together. I can’t think of another time when it’s been as difficult to navigate as right now.”

She works as the general manager for the K-12 education unit of OverDrive, the leading digital reading platform for libraries and schools worldwide. Ms. Arnold said she is familiar with how schools select educational infrastructure and how they are organized. In addition to this position, Ms. Arnold and her husband, Sean, are co-owners of the toy store PlayMatters in Pepper Pike.

“I am really interested in looking for ways to help the board communicate bidirectionally,” she said. “We can communicate to constituents what the board is doing and increasing our transparency, but also improve our active listening.”

As a board member, Ms. Arnold said she would like to bring community members together and divide the workload to help keep the children of the district on the path to success. The school district can connect residents of the municipalities it serves, whether those residents have children attending the Orange schools or not, she said.

“My goal is to learn the ropes and make sure that I’m able to support my fellow board members, our professional educators and student communities,” she said. “We are beholden to a whole host of constituents to make our school board successful. My goal is to come with humility and a strong work ethic.”

She noted the importance of the school board’s work because the Orange schools are the commonality between the municipalities they serve. The Orange schools include Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange Village, Pepper Pike and Woodmere, along with parts of Solon, Bedford Heights and Warrensville Heights.

“So many of them had wonderful skill sets and experience in our community. Unfortunately we can only choose one,” board President Scott Bilsky said. “With that being said, we’re very excited about what [Ms. Arnold] brings to the table and we’re excited to work with her.”

Board member Beth Wilson-Fish said the board met with every candidate for an interview and learned from each of them.

Ms. Arnold has two children in the district, a senior at Orange High School and an eighth grader at Brady Middle School.

Julie Hullett has been a reporter for the Chagrin Valley Times since August of 2018 and covers Gates Mills, Hunting Valley, Moreland Hills, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere. She graduated from John Carroll University with a journalism degree in 2018.

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