January 11, 2024
At its annual organizational meeting on January 9, the Beachwood Board of Education unanimously reappointed Megan Walsh, a respected figure in social work and education, as president, reaffirming her leadership for a third consecutive year.
The Board also appointed Wendy Leatherberry as the new vice president in a unanimous decision. She fills the position previously held by Jillian DeLong, who resigned from the Board last month following her election to the Beachwood City Council. The Board is currently reviewing applications and interviewing candidates to fill the vacancy. The newly selected member is expected to be sworn in at the January 22 meeting at Beachwood High School.
A member of the Board since 2019, Ms. Walsh brings extensive expertise in social work administration and a commitment to equity in education. Her professional background includes an eight-year tenure as MomsFirst Deputy Project Director at the Cleveland Department of Public Health and her current role as Program Manager for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Education at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.
Ms. Leatherberry, elected to the Board in 2021, brings more than 20 years of nonprofit leadership and public education advocacy experience to her new role as vice president. Ms. Leatherberry, currently the Director of Development for Every Woman Treaty, previously served as president and vice president for the Cleveland Heights/University Heights Board of Education.
Also during the organizational meeting, Dr. Josephine Chan was sworn in for a four-year term. Appointed to the Board in 2022, Dr. Chan currently directs the Clinical Trials Unit at University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.
In other business, the Board voted to continue membership in the Ohio School Boards Association. Ms. Leatherberry will serve as the legislative liaison, and Kim Allamby will serve as the student achievement liaison. Board meetings will continue to take place at 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Monday of each month.
In a statement, Ms. Walsh highlighted her priorities for the year ahead. “I’m truly honored to continue leading the Beachwood Board of Education,” she stated. “This year, my priority for the Board is to continue working collaboratively and effectively, particularly in overseeing the elementary facilities project. We aim to ensure that this project not only stays on schedule and within budget but also reflects the values and needs of our entire community.”
Last month, the Board approved the schematic designs for the new Bryden and Hilltop elementary schools, which will integrate the preschool into Bryden Elementary. The move simplifies logistics for parents and enhances collaboration between preschool and K-2 staff. Construction for the $65 million project is set to begin this spring with doors opening to students in January 2026.
Another key priority is to facilitate a smooth transition for the incoming board member. Ms. Walsh emphasized, “As we welcome a new board member, it is important to ensure that they receive the onboarding and training to continue our commitment of strong collaboration with one another and all our stakeholders.”
To learn more about the Beachwood Board of Education, please visit: www.beachwoodschools.org/Boe.aspx.