South West Leaders Mourn Loss of School Board Member Robert Ragland, ‘Student Champion’


Southwest City School District Board member Robert W. Ragland Sr. died on December 23, according to a December 24 district press release.

He was 56 years old.

Ragland, who was vice-chair of the school board, had served on the board since his appointment in 2016. He was elected to headquarters in 2017 and re-elected in 2019 for a term scheduled to end on December 31, 2023.

He was also a director of the Ohio School Boards Association and previously served as chairman of the board and deputy director of education and deputy director of diversity and inclusion for the Ohio PTA, the statement said.

Ragland has also been involved with the Franklin Heights High School PTA and group boosters.

In the district press release, Board Chair Cathy Johnson described Ragland as “a strong advocate, committed volunteer and champion of students” for the district and said his “leadership has helped to strengthen our schools both academically and financially “.

“Robert W. Ragland Sr. brought a unique perspective to the South-Western City School District Board,” Johnson said in a statement. “He was the ultimate team player. Mr. Ragland exemplified what a servant leader should be. It was always what was best for the students in the district.

“He was humble, so few know what he did for us for over 30 years as a part of the SWCSD family. He will be sorely missed.”

Further details, including funeral arrangements, were not immediately available, but the press release said the district will provide more information “as soon as it is released or provided by family members.”

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family, relatives and friends of Mr. Ragland,” the district press release said.

Ragland’s loss means the district will have to act over the next month to replace him on the school board.

The board must appoint a replacement within 30 days, according to Superintendent Bill Wise.

The replacement will serve the remainder of Ragland’s tenure until Dec.31, 2023, according to the district.

To apply, district residents must be at least 18 years of age and registered voters, and they must send a resume and cover letter to the attention of Johnson at 3805 Marlane Drive, Grove City, OH 43123 or by e -mail to [email protected] by 4 p.m. January 3.

Johnson said the board will review all nominations and plan to vote on a replacement at a special meeting the week of January 10.

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