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Allison Grueh, left, and Angela Orange were named chair and vice chair, respectively, of the Marietta school board on Tuesday by two unanimous votes.

MARIETTA — Allison Gruehn will serve as chair of the Marietta school board for 2020 and Angela Orange her vice chair after two unanimous votes from fellow board members Tuesday.

Board member Alan Levine was absent from the board’s evening work session.

Gruehn, a Realtor with Marietta-based Johnny Walker Realty, said her election as chair is her first since joining the board in 2015. She served as vice chair to outgoing Chairman Jason Waters for 2019.

“I’m really excited for the opportunity, and just excited to continue the great work that we’ve been doing,” Gruehn said.

The new chair said she has no specific priorities to speak of in her 2020 role but looks forward most to the “full opening” of the district’s college and career academy at Marietta High School.

A portion of the 55,000-square-foot, $12.3 million facility, for which the district broke ground in July 2018, is already open and a few classes are being held there, Gruehn said. The academy is expected to operating fully at the start of the fall 2020 semester, she said.

“We’ll do more work throughout this year and over the summer, which will allow all of the career pathways to have all of the updated facilities and classrooms that they need,” she said. “And then it will be wall-to-wall college and career academy.”

District officials say the academy will offer the space for more focused instruction in industries including engineering, game design, entrepreneurship and journalism, among others. The facility’s offerings will work hand-in-hand with the district’s Career, Technology and Agriculture Education program.

Orange, who works for the nonprofit Teach for America, is taking on her first board officer role since her election in 2017. She did, however, serve as the board’s legislative liaison for 2019.

For her part, Orange said she is also excited to see the college and career academy at full capacity and to watch for what she said will be the continued success of the Emily Lembeck Early Learning Center, which opened in August 2018.

Housed in the former Wright Street School, the two-story, 10,000-square-foot facility includes two special education classrooms and five general education rooms serving Marietta 4-year-olds.

In other business, the board:

Unanimously appointed Jason Waters as the board’s Marietta Schools Foundation liaison. Waters will attend meetings of the foundatio♦ n and give a report at a monthly meeting on the foundation’s activities;

♦ Unanimously appointed Kerry Minervini as the board’s legislative liaison, tasked with communicating the district’s priorities to lawmakers;

♦ Approved a fiscal 2020 budget amendment. Budget amendments are an annual affair, as the school district estimates its revenues and expenditures before all its received state grants and tax income, according to district officials.

♦ Moved a recommendation for the $48,699 purchase of band instruments for Marietta Sixth Grade Academy, Marietta Middle School and Marietta High School to the consent agenda for next week’s regular meeting. If approved, the purchase would be made from three different vendors, and funds would be pulled from a voter-approved 1% sales tax for education; and

♦ Moved a recommendation for a $70,000 per year copier lease agreement, funded by a voter-approved 1% sales tax for education♦ to the consent agenda for next week’s regular meeting.

Follow Thomas Hartwell on Twitter at twitter.com/MDJThomas.

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