Hilliard City Schools officials are seeking volunteers from the community to serve on the district's first education-advisory council, and they say the response thus far has been overwhelming.
The advisory council will have 15 members, nine of which will be residents.
The district began receiving applications for the nine seats immediately after Superintendent John Marschhausen announced the formation of the council at the Jan. 27 school board meeting.
As of Feb. 10, 97 residents had applied, district spokeswoman Amanda Morris said.
School board member Andy Teater said that number does not include those whom teachers and administrators might identify and independently contact.
"We want this committee to bring as many different perspectives as possible," Morris said.
The council is intended to review district initiatives and promote communication between district leaders and community members, according to Morris.
While there are no qualifications or specific criteria for choosing the nine residents, Morris said, district officials will seek a cross section of members, such as those with and without children in the school district and a variety of job experiences.
The 15-member advisory council also will include Marschhausen, Treasurer Brian Wilson, assistant superintendents Tim Hamilton and Leslie McNaughton and school board members Paul Lambert and Teater.
The first group of community members will be appointed to three-year, two-year or one-year terms, with every member serving a three-year term after the initial appointments, Morris said.
District officials have not decided how to determine which sets of members will receive the initial three-year, two-year and one-year terms.
"We're focused on the applications right now," Morris said.
Morris said Marschhausen, along with Lambert and Teater, will vet the applicants and recommend the nine members to be appointed.
The appointments will be made by the administration, not by resolution of the school board, Teater said.
"We are extremely happy to see so much interest," Teater said. "Unfortunately, this means a lot of good and qualified people won't have the opportunity to serve."
Teater said the advisory council positions should be filled no later than the end of March. He said the council is expected to convene before the end of the current school year.
Residents who desire consideration must send a letter or email to Vickie Thurmond at the Hilliard City Schools, 2140 Atlas St. in Columbus, or Vickie_Thurmond@hboe.org.
Letters of interest will be accepted until Feb. 21, according to district officials.