The Hamilton Heights School Board is made up of 5 members, 2 each from White River Township and Jackson Township as well as one at-large representative. The members are elected to staggered 4 year terms. The Board generally meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month.
Arnett Cooper, Board Member
Arnett (Arnie) Cooper has served as a Hamilton Heights School Board member representing White River and Jackson Townships since July 2010. He is a retired toolmaker after working for Chrysler Corporation in Kokomo, Indiana for 40½ years. Except for a 4 year stint in the U.S. Air Force, he has lived in the Hamilton Heights area all of his life.
Arnett and his wife Vicki, both graduated from Jackson Central High School in 1963 and both of their daughters graduated from Hamilton Heights High School. Tina is a graduate of Indiana University and the IU School of Law and works for the Indiana Appellate Courts. Kira is a graduate of Purdue University, with a Masters degree from Miami of Ohio and is an audiologist at Northside ENT. She is married and has a son, Jackson, and a daughter, Isabella, who light up the lives of Vicki and Arnett.
Besides his toolmaker apprenticeship, Arnett also has an associate degree from Highland Park Community College in Industrial Technology.
People in the community have and will see Arnett and Vicki at many school functions throughout the year, as well as Butler basketball.
Doug Ozolins, Vice President
Doug Ozolins has represented White River Township on the Hamilton Heights School Board since January 2015. He and his wife Christi have been married since 1988. Doug and Christi have three boys, Josh, Derek and Nick. Their family lost Nick in a car accident in December of 2010 at the age of 19 while he was attending Purdue University. The family has set up the first ever “Engineering Scholarship” for Hamilton Heights School Corporation in Nick’s honor.
Doug is a 1985 graduate of Center Grove High School and attended Ball State University. Doug’s wife, Christi Bryant-Ozolins, is a 1984 graduate of Hamilton Heights. The Bryant family has farmed in this community since the mid 1800’s. Doug is a very active member at Arcadia Christian Church and has helped lead worship for over 15 years. Doug has served as the Vice President of the Hamilton Heights Education Foundation and the President of the Hamilton Heights Youth Football League.
Doug is the President of Tier2 Group. Tier2 Group is a manufacturer’s representative agency specializing in the distribution of industrial and construction tooling in the Midwest. Doug is very involved in the industries’ leadership and has served in many leadership positions on a national level.
“This community has supported my family in the best of times and through the darkest days of losing a child. There is no greater honor for me than to serve on our local school board and to try to give back to the community that has given my family so much. We will forever be thankful to the people of this great community.”
Kevin Cavanaugh, President
Kevin, began serving as a board member representing Jackson Township in January 2017. Kevin has always had a passion for learning. Kevin grew up in a rural community in NW Ohio and received a B.S. in Agronomy at Iowa State University. He then attended Purdue University and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. focusing on plant breeding and genetics. He came to Beck’s Hybrids in 1993 and has been the Director of Research for 23 years. Kevin also has a key role as a member of Beck’s Leadership Team guiding the future direction of the highly successful seed company. Kevin was awarded Beck’s highest honor, the Beck Family Sales Award of Distinction in 2014. In 2012, Kevin was recognized with Purdue’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He is also involved in many state and national seed organizations such as currently serving as President of the Indiana Crop Improvement Association, past president of the Indiana Seed Trade Association, past president of the National Council of Commercial Plant Breeders, and numerous committees of the American Seed Trade Association.
Kevin is very family oriented having two sons attending Hamilton Heights currently and his wife, Carey, who is also very involved in activities in the school system. Kevin has coached numerous youth sports teams and has served on many committees and organizations around the Heights school corporation. He also served several terms on Hamilton Heights Education Foundation raising money for equipment and needs for the classrooms to better engage students.
Julie Davis, Secretary
Julie Davis was elected to represent Jackson Township in November 2018, officially beginning her duties in January 2019.
Julie, a retired English Teacher and Department Chair, spent most of her career in education as an English teacher at Heights, working with students of all levels of ability, interests, and learning styles. Julie holds a B.A. from Indiana University, a M.A. from Ball State University, IU English Adjunct Faculty Certification from IU Bloomington, and completed an AP Acceleration Program from Earlham College. She was active and engaged in many extracurricular activities during her 45-year tenure as an educator. Her depth of hands-on and engaged classroom experience provide a unique perspective and is an asset to the board in decisions that impact the school community.
Davis, a life-long resident of Northern Hamilton County and resident of Arcadia, is the first educator to be elected to the School Board. She is a proud member of the Hamilton Heights School Corporation Class of 1967 and a member of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Tipton. She has two children (Sean and Cheryl), both graduates of Hamilton Heights, and two grandchildren.
Gretchen Pennington, Board Member
Gretchen Pennington is the newest Board Member having been elected to represent White River Township in November 2020. Gretchen is excited, humbled and honored to begin her term in January 2021.
Gretchen has lived and worked in Hamilton County for more than two decades. She is a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Hamilton County. She is a graduate of Franklin College and earned her law degree at Indiana University, Bloomington. She has also earned a reputation for being thorough, professional, open-minded, and respectful of different perspectives and opinions.
Gretchen was raised on a working row-crop and livestock farm in southern Indiana. It was here that she learned the value of hard work and the immense blessings and responsibilities of farming. It was precisely these lessons that would be the foundation for her career in public service. A strong advocate for education, Pennington has dedicated her entire professional career to public service and her family, and believes there is no greater way to give back to the community than to serve as a member of the Hamilton Heights School Board.
“This is a responsibility that I don’t take lightly and will always work hard to make decisions that are in the best interest of the students, educators and the entire district.”