Updated: Trustee Dennis Valenti Resigns From Saline Board Of Education
Trustee Dennis Valenti says he came to the conclusion that it was time for him to leave the Saline Area Schools Board of Education for two simple reasons, leading to his announcement at the January 11 meeting. His resignation was made official as of the end of the meeting at 8:00 p.m.
“Some of my primary goals was the financial stabilization for the district. That has been achieved,” Valenti said in an interview by phone, the next morning. “It’s time to move on.”
A practicing attorney for over 30 years, with a background in finance, Valenti took the advice of others to run for the Board of Education to stabilize the finances of the district. Valenti concluded that after six and a half years of service, he had accomplished this by replenishing an alarmingly depleted rainy day fund and balancing the district’s budget.
Valenti said he also made a point to act as a moderating voice on the Board, taking time to listen to all sides. The reaction from the Board, Tuesday evening, was surprised and melancholy. Everyone had nothing but nice things to say in reaction to his departure.
“Your presence on this Board has been a steady anchor,” Trustee Jennifer Miller said.
“Dennis, I’ve learned so much from you,” Trustee Brad Gerbe said. “I’m a better trustee now than I was a year ago because of your tutelage.”
The other factor in Valenti’s decision to leave was the arrival of his first grandchild, Eleanor. Eleanor is the daughter of two Saline alumni, Valenti’s son and daughter-in-law.
“I would like to say how much I will miss Trustee Valenti. It has been my pleasure to work with him for three years on the Board, and Finance Committees. I respect his decision, but more importantly I respect him as a person. His contribution to the Board, Foundation for Saline Area Schools, and community has been significant,” Saline Area Schools Board of Education President Jennifer Steben said in an email. “Thank you, Dennis. I am glad you became my friend.”
Valenti says he will remain involved in the Saline Committee through his participation in various philanthropic boards.
“I’m not one for sitting on the sidelines,” Valenti added.
Update: After this article was published, Saline Area Schools released a press release on Valenti's resignation. His seat is now available for anyone in the community who wishes to complete his term, which lasts until December 31st 2022.
To apply, applicants must complete a Notice of Interest form by 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 3. The Board will hold a special meeting to consider applicants at a special meeting on February 7.
"The Board of Education Trustees are committed to appointing a trustee that is deeply dedicated to students, meets the needs of our staff, and values feedback from parents," Director of Communications and Community Relations Anna Britnell wrote in the press release.