Nordonia High School PTSA honors school board member, late husband

The treasurer's office earns Auditor of State Award with Distinction for fourth year in a row

April Helms
Akron Beacon Journal
Tammy Strong, left, of the Nordonia Hills Board of Education, and Chrisy Siewert, former PTSA president at Nordonia High School Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Macedonia, Ohio. Strong has been named the Achievement Award winner by the PTSA and she was nominated by Siewert.

NORTHFIELD CENTER -- A Nordonia Hills Board of Education member and her late husband were honored by the Nordonia High School PTSA  Feb. 22 during the school board's regular meeting. 

School board member Tammy and husband Ken Strong were named the Outstanding Achievement Award winners.

"Tammy and Ken Strong have cared so deeply about our community, our schools and our children," said Chrisy Siewert during the Feb. 22 school board meeting. Siewert nominated them for the recognition. "We've been blessed by their presence. The loss of Ken has left a hole in our hearts."

Siewert said that Tammy Strong, who is serving her second term on the school board, also served on the PTA in all of her children's schools. Siewert said that Ken "was as much of a fixture" in the schools, and had been known to wear a chicken suit and "for nailing banners into the ground at 6 in the morning"

Tammy Strong said the honor was a surprise.

"I am honored that the high school PTSA selected Ken and me as the Ohio PTA Outstanding Achievement Award winners," Strong said. "I wish Ken could have been here for this. He was an amazing person who loved to give back to the others in our community. What a great way to honor him."

Ken Strong, 54, died Nov. 10. He and Tammy Strong were married for 22 years, and have two sons.

Treasurer's office earns Auditor of State Award with Distinction

For the fourth year in a row, the treasurer's office, headed by Karen Obratil, was awarded the Auditor of State Award with Distinction.

The state auditor's office announced Feb. 1 that the district had earned the designation.

"This is becoming repetitive," said Superintendent Joe Clark, joking. "Kind of like Tom Brady. We have another champion, Karen got another auditor award." 

Obratil said that the treasurer's office has received this designation six out of the past seven years.

"This truly is a join collaborative award for us," Obratil said. "We are happy to present to the district a clean audit."

According to information from the state auditor's office, to earn an Auditor of State Award with Distinction, entities must file financial reports with the auditor's office by the due date, without extension. In addition, the report can't have any findings for recovery, material citations, material weaknesses, significant deficiencies, Uniform Guidance (single audit) findings or questioned costs. There also can't be public meeting or public records issues, bank reconciliation issues or ethics referrals.

Obratil, who started with the district in 2012, will retire effective Aug. 1.

“Karen knows where every cent is,” Clark said. “She does it ethically and she does it professionally. The taxpayers can have faith in the district because of the work she does.”

Board president Chad Lahrmer said that the school board unanimously approved hiring Finding Leaders during a special meeting Feb. 15 during a special meeting to assist with the search for a new treasurer. Finding Leaders is based in Sagamore Hills.

Obratil said the contract is for $8,900.

Board vice president Liz McKinley said she enjoyed working with Obratil.

“Working with you these past few years has been a pleasure,” McKinley said. “While I really, really don’t want to see you go, I’m really excited for you.”

Obratil said during the meeting that “it was time” for retirement.

“Whoever takes my job, this is a great district to work for,” Obratil said. “I’ve had great opportunities here in the past nine years.”

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@thebeaconjournal.com