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Three-generation Elliott family seat on Ada school board ends after 62 years

By Monty Siekerman

The Elliott family in Ada has a long tradition of serving on the school board. Incredibly long!

Local pharmacist Michael Elliott has served on the board since 1990. After 26 years, he decided not to run for election again. Monday, when the board reorganized, he was officially no longer a board member.

Mike, the pharmacy manager at Rite Aid, is proud of his family service to the local school system.

That service began in 1936 with his grandfather, Dr. Floyd Elliott, a local physician, serving until 1955. Mike's father, Dr. Robert Elliott, also a local physician, served from 1962 to 1977.

Three generations, total 62 years, that's a lot of meetings and a lot of decisions made.
Mike a!so served 18 years on the Apollo board and was president of both boards at one time or another.

The construction of the current K-12 building and razing of the old structure was a major accomplishment during Mike's tenure on the board.

What major changes in public education has he seen over the past quarter century? He recounted:
• attempts by the state legislature to improve grades and to measure learning by testing;
• local school boards are less autonomous due to state mandates;
• the state requires local schools to do things  but does not provide the money to do them;
• open enrollment, which has benefitted Ada with more students enrolling in Ada than choosing another school.

On balance, Mike was very complimentary of all who work at the Ada Schools, the extra time and effort they put in, and the quality of the students as well as their success after graduation.

He noted that the community was very supportive of the school system. He said not every levy was passed, but when a good case for additional taxes was made, the levy was approved. He said the community has been "very supportive."

What is the relationship between the board and the two unions at the school.? He described it as "cooperative, we all want what is best for the students."

After graduating from ONU, Mike has practiced pharmacy, mostly in Ada, since 1985. He served customers at Peper's Drugs before it was sold. Now he heads the pharmacy at the local Rite Aid. His wife, Michele, teaches at Apollo.

They are the parents of two daughters: Meredith, an accountant in Toledo, and Megan, a pharmacist in Toledo. Megan is the fourth generation of the Elliott family to have graduated from Ohio Northern.