Westerville News & Public Opinion

Board to interview three for vacant seat

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The Westerville Board of Education narrowed down its candidate list to three possibilities.

The board received 11 applications for the seat vacated last month by longtime board member Cindy Crowe. At a closed meeting May 29, the board decided to interview three of the applicants.

"We have identified a small group of people we are going to interview and we will see how it will go," said board President Nancy Nestor-Baker.

On May 5, Crowe announced her resignation due to complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Her last day on the board was May 19.

The new member will finish Crowe's intended term through Dec. 31, 2015.

The board will interview applicants Richard Bird, Al Hammond and Luke Davis for the vacant seat.

Bird ran as a Democrat candidate for District 2 for the Ohio House of Representatives in 2010, but lost to Republican Andrew Brenner. He previously worked as a project manager for JP Morgan and Chase and now is head of information security at Mettler-Toledo International Inc.

Hammond and Davis both ran for election to the school board previously.

Hammond ran unsuccessfully for the school board in 2009 and 2011. He is the bureau chief for the Bureau of Audit, Control and Claims Support, Ohio Bureau of Employment Services/Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. He is also the father of three children who have attended schools in the district.

Davis ran for a school board seat as part of a team with John Sodt and Jim Burgess in 2013. He has three children in the district. Davis is a compliance coordinator for Abbott Nutrition and was a member of the Blendon Middle School PTO and Hanby Elementary School PTA.

Nestor-Baker said there was consensus among the board as to whom it was going to interview.

"There are some really good applicants in there," she said. "The decision to come to a short list was very difficult for us. We really weighed the decision."

The new board member will be sworn into office at the Board of Education meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 9, at the Early Learning Center, 936 Eastwind Drive.

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