By Okon Ekpenyong and Peaches Calhoun
A graduate of Boston University Sargent College of Allied Health, Angela Abram is a nationally board certified occupational therapist. She is licensed by the Ohio Occupational Therapy Board, and the Ohio Department of Education. A therapist of 30+ years, she is a pediatric therapist specializing in serving children with neurodiversity, as well as those with differing cognitive, physical, and learning abilities. Angela was born in Beckley, West Virginia, and spent the majority of her formative years in Toledo, Ohio. She is one of five siblings. A 22-year resident of Reynoldsburg, Ohio, Angela is married, and a mother of four adult children. Angela currently serves on the Reynoldsburg Board of Education, serving as the city liaison and the legislative liaison. She also serves on the calendar, building and grounds, school business, and outcomes coordination committees for the board. Angela Abram spoke on how she has been making impact in the Reynoldsburg School Board and the community in general.
How does your profession as an occupational therapist serve as a gateway to uphold the roles and responsibilities of a Reynoldsburg School Board Member?
My profession as an occupational therapist serves as a gateway to uphold the roles and
responsibilities of a Reynoldsburg School Board Member by allowing me to be an advocate,
while maintaining confidentiality, objectivity, and impartiality. I work with children on a daily basis,
in multiple learning environments, so it is an easy leap to serve the children of Reynoldsburg in
How does zoning affect the Reynoldsburg school system, and what are the challenges?
Zoning impacts the Reynoldsburg school system through the way we are able to receive
revenue from businesses, TIFS and property taxes. It impacts our enrollment. One of the
challenges of this, is the length of time it takes the schools to receive the revenue from
commercial properties, etc.
Keeping the lines of communication through the city liaison, which I serve in the position,
is critical to keeping updated on what’s happening in our city. We also need to maintain
the already excellent working relationship with our city, and maintain good lines of
communication to ensure we are receiving our full revenue from our TIFS. Reynoldsburg
is also somewhat landlocked. So, there are only so many places in Reynoldsburg where
school development projects can take place.
A new Housing Development is arising in Reynoldsburg. Will all of those students be
zoned for the city? If so, how will that affect Reynoldsburg City Schools?
We have a number of developments in process in the Reynoldsburg community.
Students who live within the boundaries of the Reynoldsburg School District will be able
to enroll in the district. However, some of the potential housing developments, while in
the city of Reynoldsburg, are not necessarily in the bounds of the district. We are
seeking further information about those potential developments that are in the city, but
are out of district boundaries.
The governor makes the laws regarding school rules and regulations, but the school
board enforces it. What factors went into the decision of whether to implement mask
Mask implementation decisions were determined after careful review of Franklin County
public health standards, as well as recommendations by the American Academy of
Pediatrics, and the state’s Children’s Hospitals. Federal mandates already require
masking on public transportation, including school buses. We want to do the most that
we can, to protect those who are not vaccinated and do what’s needed to keep our
schools open. Layering this with cleansing protocols, increased air filtration, social
distancing from 3 feet or greater, when possible, gives our students the best chance at
maintaining in person attendance.
What is the probability of students being able to attend in person School versus virtual learning throughout the school year?
School has started in person. A virtual option survey will be utilized to determine the
numbers of families who want to use virtual instruction rather than in person learning.
From the 2020 / 2021 school year starts, are the schools able to handle the demands of
all the students coming back full time. Staff and counseling?
As we start the 2020/2021 school year, we are equipped to manage the demands of full
capacity in person instruction. While we have some vacancies, we have adequate
staffing, including social workers, and emotional support personnel. Staff as a whole, have
been working to address the social emotional needs of both the staff and students
through professional development trainings. In addition to social emotional support, we
are also providing training for on boarding of new staff. We will continue to provide enhanced
cleansing protocols, increased hand sanitation stations, water bottle fillers, and free
school lunch and breakfast, thanks to federal support.
How is the school board interacting with each School in the district? During your time on
the school board, what have you learned, and what more do you hope to accomplish?
The school board is interacting with each school in the district by various school board members
conducting site visits, attending back to school nights, sporting events, and school specific
While on the school board, I have learned the process of school governance, what it takes to be
a “good school board” member. I have also helped build partnerships with the community and
businesses that strengthen the relationships between our students and our city. It has been my
high honor and distinct pleasure to serve the children and families of Reynoldsburg. It is my
utmost desire to continue to do the work that makes us a stronger, more resilient district of