South Bend School Board meeting gets heated as they pick a new m - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend School Board meeting gets heated as they pick a new member

South Bend School Board meeting gets heated as they pick a new member

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SOUTH BEND - The South Bend School Board has picked its newest member.  Roger Parent resigned in May so Monday night John Anella was chosen to replace him.

Some board members are disappointed he's not a more diverse hire when it comes to his race.  And that made for a pretty heated discussion at tonight's meeting.  There was yelling from board member Bill Sniadecki and board president Michelle Engel told him he was out of order.  At one point Sniadecki shot back to Engel, "you'll be removed from office." Engel said the heated discussion is a result of passion.  "I just think it indicated the passion there is in the school district and the reason we need a really strong board."

Monday night the board's passion was over appointing the next board member.  In a 4-2 vote the board picked John Anella, but not before two members, Dawn Jones and Sniadecki shared their concerns about the lack of diversity.  "The efforts we claim to be making in recruiting a more diverse staff, we need to demonstrate what we preach," said Jones.  Sniadecki said, "we do not have an African American male sitting on this board, we have four white people."

President Engel responded to those concerns saying, "our diversity hasn't changed at all.  He didn't have that criticism earlier with Mr. Parent.  We've replaced a white man from the same district that Mr. Parent lived in."

Engel went on to say that the board will now have diversity of expertise.  She said that because of Anella's background with money and finance.  He is a private investment officer with Wells Fargo.

A little more about him, he is a 1989 graduate of Adams High School and currently has a son attending that same school.
Anella commented on the arguing between the board but said despite that he's still excited to be its newest member.  "It's unfortunate I think in the discussion that a couple of board members are disappointed and I can see why they're disappointed.  I do think that I complement the current board, which is very diverse, in the sense of bringing some financial and business background."

Anella will take his seat with the school board at their next meeting.

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