EDMOND — The school board has reloaded its leadership, appointing Stephanie Bills as a new board member and Justin Coffelt as the new principal of Edmond Memorial High School.
Bills, who is Metro-Tech's chief officer of human resources, was appointed unanimously to serve out the term of George Cohlmia, who resigned last month to allow his daughter Kasey Cohlmia to be hired as a first-grade teacher at Charles Haskell Elementary.
Under district rules, Cohlmia could not remain on the board with an immediate family member employed by the district. Board members took a moment during Monday's meeting to thank Cohlmia for his service.
Bills will serve out the remaining eight months of the term and has the option of running for the No. 4 seat when it comes up for election in February. One of the first orders of business was to swear in Bills.
“We are looking forward to working with Stephanie,” said board President Jamie Underwood. “We believe that she will be an asset to the board and the students we serve.”
Bills was one of the teachers employed at Santa Fe High School in its inaugural year, 1992. She has worked for Metro Technology Center since 2001. She has two children in Edmond schools and another who graduated recently from Santa Fe High School.
Following a one-hour executive session, the board unanimously voted to hire Coffelt to lead the campus of 2,024 students. Coffelt was away attending an education conference in Washington. The Memorial assistant principal was informed of his promotion while attending a Washington Nationals baseball game.
“This is an incredible opportunity for me,” he said.
Edmond Schools Superintendent David Goin welcomed the choice.
“Justin is a Bulldog through and through,” he said. “The students and faculty both like him. He's bright and can handle the challenges.”
Coffelt replaces Debbie Bendick, who was promoted to executive director of secondary education. She was principal four years.
“She did a great job and will be a tough act to follow,” Coffelt said.
Coffelt is a 1997 graduate of Edmond Memorial. His wife, Errin, is a teacher at Cimarron Middle School and their daughter, Aiden will be a fourth-grader at Cross Timbers in the fall. Errin is also a Memorial graduate.
The board also renewed the vending contract with Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co. School business manager Jeanise Morton said the company followed national, state and district guidelines to ensure healthy drinks and snacks were provided to students. The district's commission from the company last year was $159,000, she said.