Posted on

Widow will succeed Uesseler on board

Carol Uesseler was appointed to the South Harrison Community School Corp. Board of Trustees, filling the seat vacated by her husband of 40 years, Carl Uesseler, who died May 8 after a 16-year battle with cancer.
Saying he was ‘elated’ when he heard of Carol’s interest, Trustee Roger Windell said she knew her husband’s ‘feelings on a number of things and felt like she could represent his ideas and feelings on the board. She was definitely capable and had the ability and the interest.’
Uesseler, 60, was appointed by a unanimous vote June 1 and expects to be sworn in at the board’s July meeting.
‘Several people in the community had brought it up to me: ‘Was I going to fill Carl’s unexpired term?’,’ Uesseler said.
‘Then several teachers had approached me. It seems like I was just hearing it more and more. One of the other superintendents encouraged me. He said if it was his board and that situation was there, that was how he would hope to fill it. I guess I just kept hearing it more and more and thought, ‘Well, why not?’ ‘
To avoid a conflict of interest, Uesseler will resign from her position as an office worker in the Harrison County Special Education Cooperative, a position she said she will miss.
A mother of four teachers and one aspiring educator, Uesseler has been surrounded by education at home and work. And, as the wife and confidant of Carl Uesseler ‘ principal of Lanesville High School from 1965 to 1994, and superintendent of the Lanesville school corporation from 1971 to 1999 ‘ she had an insight most did not.
‘We talked, I listened, I supported him. So I know a lot about education just from discussing things with him,’ she said.
And then, of course, there was her occupational experience, and as a result of that, ‘I feel like I’ll probably know more about special education and special education law than most of the board members,’ she said.
Uesseler hopes to send the message that she is committed to her new role.
She said she plans to let the voters decide whether or not to return her to the board at the end of her term in two years.
‘Some may view it as a token appointment, but I don’t feel that way at all.’
Uesseler said she believes she’s as qualified as anyone, and, with children teaching and grandchildren attending classes in South Harrison, she said she has a vested interest in the school system.
‘I know the response that I have had from people … they thought it was just a great move,’ Windell said.
‘And I felt like it was the right move to make. There wasn’t a lot of discussion. There was no conflict. In fact, it is very good to be able to come through something like that and not have any conflict,’ he said.