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MANSFIELD -- The Mansfield City Schools Board of Education spent Tuesday night taking steps to reshape its public image.

The board and other administrators had a focus-group style meeting with Dr. Bobby Moore of Epic Impact during a special meeting at the Raemelton office.

Throughout the two-hour meeting, board members and administrators were asked about the their perspectives of the current and future district.

"I don't know about anyone else, but I enjoyed that and I thank you all for participating," board of education president Renda Cline said. 

Moore gave an outline of the evening beginning with this initial meeting and ending with a debut of a new strategic plan in August. 

Moore asked administrators to think about the school's mission statement and how it could reflect the state of the district.

"One of the things I've learned tonight is that we need to accept and celebrate our diversity," said Gary Feagin, vice president of the board. "And we need to do a better job of letting people know we are hiring our graduates."

Moore discussed how messaging can shape perception of a district and how sharing the positive news items with a district can make families choose one school over another.

Another theme was the realization of differing opinions by those inside and outside the school system.

"I think I have a positive view of the district," said Chris Ellswick, who has served on the board for 10 years. "But I know those not involved don't always think that."

Board treasurer Robert Kuehnle mentioned passage of the district's 2017 renewal levy with about 70 percent of the vote as a success story.

Other accomplishments include more diversity than any other area district, the career tech education program, and an expected better district letter grade from the Ohio Department of Education. 

At the end of the discussion, each of the 15 administrators and board members turned in their notes for Moore and his company to begin working on the next step towards creating and implementing a plan.

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Staff Reporter

Noah Jones is host to The Open Mic Podcast -- available on Apple Podcasts! He is the crime, education and music reporter for Richland Source. He is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and a giant Cardinals fan.