Clawson school board fills vacancy

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published February 19, 2018

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CLAWSON — A new face will help steer the direction of Clawson Public Schools.

On Feb. 12, the Clawson Board of Education unanimously appointed and swore in Ted Verner, 52, of Clawson, to fill the remainder of longtime school board member Kevin Turner’s term, which is set to expire Dec. 31, 2018.

Turner, who had served on the board since July 1, 2001, resigned Jan. 30 after he moved out of the school district and therefore was no longer eligible to serve. He said his children have all gone on to college and that he is now starting a “new phase.”

During the Feb. 12 meeting, the board interviewed the four candidates — all parents of Clawson students — who applied for the position. The candidates included Verner, Kimberly Zarnick, Glenn Shepard and Nicholas Hamilton.

“I’m very pleased that we are able to fill this position with such strong candidates, because Mr. Turner was a force on this board, and he is going to be missed,” board Vice President Jessica Back said. “I’m glad that we had so many people willing to come out.”

Board Treasurer Kimberley Carlesimo said that she wished she could have voted for all of the candidates, and she thanked them for making her decision difficult.

“We’re really excited about adding Ted to our team,” Superintendent Monique Beels told the Royal Oak Review in a phone interview. “He’s a person with some strong views and strong opinions, and I’m excited to hear his voice.”

Verner told the Royal Oak Review that some board members had let him know that the position was open, and that he had been considering applying for a school board position for approximately two years.

“Clawson is an extremely small town,” he said. “Once I heard about it, I threw my hat in the ring.”

Verner is a lifelong Clawson resident who attended Schalm Elementary School and Clawson Middle School, and graduated from Clawson High School in 1983. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University, holds degrees in secondary education and business management, and works as the vice president of property management for the Nadeer Group, according to a Clawson Public Schools press release.

He and his wife, Nancy, have three children in the school district. He served on the parks and recreation special committee that assisted in the development and implementation of the new football field, track, baseball diamonds and skate park, according to the release.

He served as president of the Clawson Mavericks Youth Football & Clawson Cheer program for nine years, sat on the Oakland/Macomb Youth Football Association governing board for more than three years, and has coached youth baseball teams and junior basketball teams, according to the release.

“My big thing is higher education,” Verner said. “How can we develop and provide a better experience for our kids so they have an opportunity to go on to better and higher education?”

He said he wants to find ways to get funds to keep and maintain teachers in Clawson schools. In his application, he said he is “very versed at budget developments, capital improvement, insurance claim recovery, asset management, community relationships, resident relationships and team development.”

He told the Royal Oak Review that he believed his personal and professional experience would tie in well in a municipal board capacity.

“Being a board member is not a popularity contest. We have to make tough decisions, and you have to have thick skin,” Verner said. “I don’t have a problem with that, as long as (we’re doing better for our kids and our community).”