School board member offers suggestions after FBI arrests


VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Vigo County School Board members voted unanimously Friday to terminate Franklin Fennell and Frank Shahadey.

Board members also seemed unanimous in feeling things need to be changed as they move forward.

Board member Alpa Patel said waiting for change isn’t an option.

“I don’t want to wait, and I’m encouraging you, all of my colleagues here, we can’t wait for the FBI and the State Board of Accounts to reach their conclusion,” Patel said. “We now have facts that we didn’t have before, and we can act on them.”

Patel offered different means of change.
One being a change in policies for the purchasing of services.

“While Indiana law does not require the school board to engage in specific processes for services, we can go outside and above the law,” Patel said.

Another suggestion Patel has is increasing the amount of school board meetings.
Patel said she’d like to see two per month, including public work sessions.

Another component is asking that the public get involved in what they do.

“I ask the community for their patience, but I also ask them to be stakeholders and take part,” Patel said. “Come to our public work sessions, come to our board meetings.”

Patel also suggests having a board governance meeting talking about best practices.

This as they try to work with the community and guide the school corporation forward.

“I hope through all these actions that we’ll be able to move forward and restore the confidence in our community.”

Patel also requested an audit on all purchase orders made by Franklin Fennell.

There was no timeline as to when or if any of these proposed changes would be implemented.