Raymond Belcher, a member and president for the South Central Ohio Educational Service Center and the Scioto County Career Technical Center, passed away Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, at the age of 83. He was a long-standing businessman in the community and an extremely long-tenured educational board member, serving on many boards since the early 1960s.
“Mr. Belcher was committed to education in Scioto County,” South Central Ohio ESC Superintendent Sandy Mers said. “The pride he had for the students in this county as well as the teachers and administrators was apparent through his continued dedication as a board member. Mr. Belcher was a very kind, sincere, and nurturing person. He will be greatly missed but always remembered.”
Belcher was the owner of True Value New Boston and Toy Town for 43 years before retiring in 1998. He was a former member of the Clay Local School Board, and an avid member of the Rubyville Community Church. He received many accolades during his service to the educational community, including awards for service and tenure of both the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA) and the Association for Career Technical Education. His longevity spanned over 60 years, leading on the state and regional levels.
“He represented the best in the qualities of a public school board member and truly understood what it meant to make decisions in the best interests for many, many children in Scioto County,” said Paul D. Mock, OSBA Southeast Regional Manager. “He was a true advocate for boys and girls and will be greatly missed.”
Stan Jennings, superintendent of Scioto County Career Technical Center, said Belcher gave time and guidance to strengthen education for the students of the county, and every facet found there-in. He added that Belcher has made education better for the students of Scioto County.
“I have a great appreciation for the work that Mr. Belcher has done in the District, and find it very difficult to outline a complete listing of the items that make him special to the Scioto County JVSD,” Jennings said. “During my time with Mr. Belcher he was always present at all functions and on call 24/7 for working with the district in moving forward district policy and daily activities. During times when Mr. Belcher has had crisis or health issues in his personal life he never relented in his efforts to improve the educational processes of the counties students. I am truly honored to have been able to know and work with such a fine person. We will miss him deeply.”
Jennings said Belcher played a key role in the basic running of the Career Technical Center, and their most recent facilities addition, “Belcher Hall,” is named in his honor.
Former superintendents also remember Belcher as a kind man, dedicated to education and students.
“Mr. Belcher was the epitome of an excellent board member,” said former South Central Ohio ESC Superintendent Lowell Howard. “His professionalism, work ethic, and dedication to the students and the educational community could never be exceeded. He will be greatly missed.”
Former Career Technical Center Superintendent Tom Reiser shared Howard’s sentiment.
“I feel very fortunate to have been associated with Ray both as a friend and on a professional basis. He was a unique individual who was devoted to his family, friends, and the community, as witnessed by his commitment to education. His great humor and positive presence will be missed by all,” he said.