Gahanna voters elected incumbent Jill Schuler and newcomers Matthew Campbell, Lew Griffin and Jason Phillips to the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education on Tuesday night, Nov. 5.
With 48 of 49 precincts reporting, unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections reported Schuler, Campbell and Phillips winning election to seats with term beginning Jan. 1.
Schuler received 5,643 votes, followed by Phillips with 4,590 and Campbell with 4,507. Candidate Beryl Piccolantonio lost her bid for a seat with 4,052 votes.
In the school board race to fill the seat left vacant by Heather Bishoff, who resigned Dec. 30, 2012, after winning her bid to the Ohio House of Representatives’ 20th District seat, the winner was Lew Griffin. He received 4,152 votes over opponent Charles Steele, who received 2,961 votes, according to unofficial results. The unexpired term ends Dec. 31, 2015.
Griffin is president of Lew Griffin Insurance Group in Gahanna. He said he has displayed some creative ideas in the insurance industry to gain success, and he has been an active part of the Gahanna community.
“I believe a combination of my experiences allows me to bring people in Gahanna and Jefferson Township together to discuss ideas, come to a consensus and implement changes that will improve our already good system,” Griffin said.
Twelve-year board member Claire Yoder, who’s currently board president, decided not to seek re-election, and neither did Scott Mounts.
Schuler, current board vice president, was the only incumbent seeking re-election. She has a decade of experience in working in state government at the executive and legislative level.
Schuler said she sought re-election because she wants a quality education that is second to none for her children and all Gahanna-Jefferson students.
Campbell, who works at JPMorgan Chase, said he would be a strong team player to advance policies, work with others to take bold measures to improve the financial future and blaze new paths to build long-lasting bridges with people and groups within the community.
Phillips is an educator at Licking Heights High School.
“As an educator, I know firsthand how many of the decisions made about education impact the classroom,” he said. I can bring that unique perspective forward and help the board make better decisions for the future of Gahanna.”
In addition to a master’s degree in education, Phillips has more than 10 years of experience as an educator, coach and school leader. Phillips said he would use that knowledge to make proactive decisions for the schools and community that provide the best education and opportunities for the students, as well as meet the expectations and needs of the entire community.