Akron Board of Ed's Newest Member Says She'll Listen to Community Needs First

Feb 21, 2018

 

Morgan Lasher, the newest member of the Akron Board of Education, says she brings a multi-faceted perspective, as a businesswoman, a mother and wife of a former district employee.
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU


Fifty-seven people were interested in the opening on the Akron Board of Education following the resignation of John Otterman last month.  He stepped down following allegations of drug use and an overdose. Tuesday, the board picked Otterman’s replacement.

Morgan Lasher grew up in the Akron area. She and her husband are raising their young son in the city’s Merriman Hills neighborhood. She is a partner in a marketing and public relations firm based in the city, and she has never been in politics. What drew her to add her name to the 56 others applying for the seat?

 

Morgan Lasher, the newest member of the Akron Board of Education, says she brings a multi-faceted perspective, as a businesswoman, a mother and wife of a former district employee.
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Invested in Akron
“First, I’m a mom I have a 2 1/2-year-old son, and so I have a vested interest in what happens next in the school system because of him. And I would say, too, that I am really excited about the future of city of Akron and I would like to play a part in what that could be.”

First steps
“I’d like to start talking to as many people as I can. As board members, it’s important for us to know that we are representative of the community. So before I figure out what my priorities are, I want to understand what the community’s priorities are.”

“I think Akron right now is in a state of pliability. You really can mold the city. (There is) so much interesting energy happening in Akron right now. I hope Akron schools can be a thought leader as a part of that energy.”

Financial issues facing the schools
“I’m coming in from two different sides.” 

One is from a business manager’s perspective of the financial decision under the funding constraint public school have now. She says it's a “really big and tough thing.” At the same time, “my husband was employed by APS (Akron Public Schools) and the board had to make a decision to cut his department.”

So, “I hope can be an interesting and different viewpoint.”

Lasher says the district needs to continue to develop alternative avenues for education such as career academies and public-private partnerships.