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Elyria Board welcomes new and returning members

The Elyria Board of Education convened this evening for an organizational meeting and the first regular session of the New Year.

The board welcomed returning members Greg Elek and Michael Gebhardt, and newly elected member Elaine Seguin. Also serving on the board are Annie Carstarphen, who joined in 2014, and Jim Backs, who joined in 2015.

This evening Elek, Gebhardt and Seguin affirmed their roles and responsibilities as board members by reciting the oath of office. Overseeing the oaths was Elyria Municipal Court Judge Gary Bennett.

Gebhardt and Elek have served the board since 2013 and 2015, respectively, and were re-elected in November 2019, when newest member Seguin also was elected. Seguin replaces former member Kevin Brubaker.

Elek, Gebhardt and Seguin begin four-year terms tonight that will end on December 31, 2024. 

Elek, Gebhardt and Seguin have deep roots in Elyria and Elyria Township, and in Elyria Schools. All three board members were students themselves as youngsters in Elyria’s elementary, middle and high schools, and have seen their own children attend, and graduate from, Elyria Schools.

Newest-member Seguin has called Elyria Township home her entire life. She is an alumna of Crestwood Elementary School, Westwood Middle School and Elyria West High School and currently resides in the Township with husband, Phil, and children, Ruthie and Nathan.

“I’ve actually lived my entire life on Adelbert Street very near the Westwood/Crestwood school complex,” Seguin said. “I would like to think that I bloomed where I was planted.

“My decision to raise a family in Elyria Township was very intentional and influenced by proximity to my family, and fond memories of growing up in Elyria Township and in the Elyria school system,” Seguin said.

“My two children, Ruthie and Nathan, have attended Elyria Schools their entire academic career thus far. They attended Crestwood Elementary for six years where I was active in the Crestwood PTA, and they currently attend Westwood Middle School,” she said. “My husband also spent the majority of his life in Elyria and Elyria Township and is a proud alumni of St. Jude School and Elyria Catholic High School. We have been pleased with our children’s education to this point.”

It was her history with the district and deep care of the schools and community she grew up in that inspired Seguin to join the Elyria Board of Education.

“My husband and I value education and I hope to be an advocate for both the education community and the taxpayers in making decisions that keep our school system healthy, strong and efficient,” she said.