Benyo to Chair Academic Distress Commission

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Brian Benyo, president of Brilex Industries and a founding member of the Mahoning Valley Manufacturers’ Coalition, has been named chairman of the city’s Academic Distress Commission.

State Education Superintendent Richard Ross announced the selection Friday.

“I am honored to serve as the commission’s chairperson,” Benyo said in a statement. “I think I speak for the entire commission when I say we are eager to get on with the work required to help turn around Youngstown City Schools. It’s going to require a commitment by everyone in our community to work together to create and carry out a strong plan. Our children, their future, and our city’s future, is at stake.”

Benyo and other manufacturing executives in the Mahoning Valley helped form the Manufacturer’s Coalition – a collection of private companies, development organizations, trade groups, career centers and colleges – to train and prepare young people for the workforce and jobs in industry.

Benyo chairs the panel that includes Laura Meeks, former president of Eastern Gateway Community College; Jennifer Roller, president of the Raymond John Wean Foundation; and Barbara Brothers, former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Youngstown State University.

The Ohio Education Association and the Youngstown Education Association havechallenged the appointment of Carol Staten, a fifth member to the commission. Staten was appointed by Youngstown Board of Education President Brenda Kimble.

The teachers’ unions contend that Ohio law requires one of the members to be a current teacher in the district. Staten is a substitute principal.

Earlier this week, Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge Lou D’Apolitio agreed to an injunction preventing Staten from taking the position until a hearing is held Dec. 14.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.