Formerly Educational Office Personnel of Ohio

Sometime in 1977 some material came across my desk regarding the National Association of Educational Secretaries [NAES]. I sent in my membership application. The Fall Conference of NAES was being held that year in Norfolk, Virginia. I decided I would like to go and my school district paid my expenses. My husband accompanied me.

It was a weekend meeting, everything was very planned, the meals were great, and the workshops presented were outstanding. I was very impressed with the organization and the professionalism they exhibited. All were very friendly. It so happened I was the only one attending from Ohio.

I talked briefly with Dortha Voruz, Immediate Past President, Mona Smith, President, and Millie Bennett, President Elect. All three encouraged me to thank about organizing an association in Ohio.

In January 1978, they issued me a list of the NAES members from Ohio. There were approximately 38 members at the time, and only about half of them replied. But the ones who did reply were enthusiastic for organizing an association in Ohio. Two who offered to help were Lila Van Sweringen, Secretary to the Superintendent, Cuyahoga Falls, and Mary Emma Walker, Secretary to the Business Manager, Lakewood City Schools.

Via correspondence, we scheduled a meeting to survey the interest on May 13, 1978. Lila’s boss, Dr. Harold Wilson, felt such an organization was needed and encouraged us from the very beginning. We met in the board room at the Cuyahoga Falls City School District. We contacted President Mona Smith, and she agreed to come and give us guidance and answer questions. The purpose for the organization was drafted.

The purpose and aim of the Educational Office Personnel of Ohio [EOPO] shall be to promote the professional growth of all those employed as office personnel in the educational systems of the State of Ohio.

A temporary President and Secretary were selected – Martha L. Leach, Secretary to the Superintendent, Kettering City School District and Secretary, Lila Van Sweringen, Secretary to the Superintendent, Cuyahoga Falls City Schools. A bylaws committee was appointed to draw up the bylaws for EOPO.

The second organizational meeting was held at School Management Institute headquarters in Westerville on June 17, 1978. A second draft of the bylaws was prepared, plans were made for our first conference workshop, and ideas were collected for crest and symbol, fund raising, and special projects. It was a hard-working group, and all left with a feeling of great satisfaction that much had been accomplished.

Letters were sent to the secretaries of superintendents across Ohio, and they were encouraged to attend a third organizational meeting on August 19, 1978, and to bring their co-workers with them. We met at the same building in Westerville. More than 85 attended – we had to move the meeting to a larger building in the professional building complex.

Bylaws were approved with 50 educational office personnel signing as charter members of EPOP. The following officers were elected:

  • President – Martha Leach
  • President Elect – Lila Van Sweringen
  • Vice President – Bertha Praising
  • Treasurer – Judith Ross
  • Director of Membership – Marla Downing
  • Director of Nominations and Elections – Joan Burch

The logo selected was created by Shirley Friermood, Kettering City Schools. Membership dues of $5 was collected from each member.

Also in August 1978, EOPO’s first affiliate, Centerville-Oakwood-Kettering Educational Secretaries was organized. That same month EOPO affiliated with NAES. Dr. Harold Wilson and Marge Ramseyer were two strong advocates of EOPO and were very helpful in planning the first conference at the Rodeway Inn, Columbus, Ohio, October 28, 1978. Following the conference, Dr. Harold Wilson installed the first officers of EOPO.

In January 1980, the EOPO Board of Directors met with Dr. Franklin Walter, Superintendent of Public Instruction, to acquaint him with the organization and to ask for his assistance in promoting the association. From that meeting the board went to a meeting of the executive Committee of Buckeye Association of School Administrators. A proposal had been given to BASA for alliance with their association. They voted to accept EOPO as an alliance with BASA without hesitation.

Submitted by Martha L. Leach
August 25, 1987

EOPO 37 Years

For the Fall 2014 Conference held on November 7, Donita Smith, CEOE made this presentation of EOPO highlights from the past 37 years.