With one candidate choosing to withdraw from the November race for a seat on the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education, there are just three candidates for three open seats.
Jeannie Hoffman, 53, said she withdrew Aug. 29 after many conversations with friends and family.
She said she had anticipated a five-candidate race but only four candidates applied for the three open seats.
The candidates are Matthew P. Campbell and Jennifer A. Chrysler, both incumbents, and Bryan K. Hairston. Board member Jason Phillips isn’t seeking re-election.
“As someone who regularly attends school board meetings, I publicly support both incumbents,” Hoffman said. “I think they are doing a remarkable job for our district and would want their service to continue.”
She said a four-person race for three seats had the potential to get heated and could harm the school district in the short-term at a time when the district is taking many significant steps forward.
“I am confident that the other approved candidate, Mr. Bryan Hairston, shares my passion for fiscal responsibility and student achievement,” Hoffman said. “I believe he respects the taxpayers in our community and will carry that respect when he works with the other members in guiding our district to reach our potential.”
Hoffman said her decision was also a personal one.
“If you know me well, you know that I love chickens and covet the opportunity to raise chickens on my own,” she said. “There is a slight chance that I will move out of the district when my youngest graduates from Gahanna Lincoln in a couple years.
“I don’t believe someone should run or seek appointment for a position if there is the slightest possibility they would need to resign before their term is completed,” Hoffman said.
Hoffman said the school board has experienced multiple resignations over the past couple years.
“It is disruptive and time-consuming, and takes away from the important business that benefits our district’s students,” she said.
“The withdrawal of my candidacy does not mean I will not be attending school board meetings. I will still be as active and as involved as before, still without the constraints of being an elected school board member.
“I love our city and our school district and that is why I chose to withdraw from the race,” Hoffman said.
Campbell, 42, was elected to the board of education in November 2013, and he has served since 2014. He holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Calvin College.
In recent years, while working full-time, he returned to school to acquire additional education in the field of accounting.
Chrysler, 41, was appointed to the school board in December 2016. She succeeded Joe Gottron, who resigned Nov. 3, 2016, to take a senior-level leadership position with BOK Financial Corp. in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Gottron had been appointed June 9, 2016, to fill the 18-month unexpired term (set to end Dec. 31, 2017) of Jill Schuler, who cited increased professional responsibilities and family obligations when she resigned May 24, 2016.
Chrysler is New Albany’s community development director.
She has worked for New Albany since 2005, and she worked for the city of Gahanna from 1998 until 2005.
Hairston, 53, is a retired administrator for the Ohio Department of Taxation.
He also worked as tax director for the city of Gahanna for 12 years.
Hairston said he wanted to get involved with the school district, as he has a daughter at Middle School West. His son is a graduate of Gahanna Lincoln High School.
“Being retired, you have time on your hands,” Hairston. “I wanted to be part of Gahanna’s continued success and growth. I want to see it to continue to grow.”
Hairston holds a master’s degree in taxation from Capital University Law School.