Sixty-three candidates have applied to become the first director of student well-being for Hilliard City Schools.

"We hope to begin interviews later this month and hope to have a candidate to bring to the (school) board in May," said Stacie Raterman, a spokeswoman for the district.

Assistant Superintendent Mike McDonough will lead the vetting process, Raterman said.

Three teams will interview candidates.

One will be composed of administrators, one will consist of teachers and the other will include health-care professionals, Raterman said. The team members have not been named, she said.

The details of the job description, salary and other aspects of the new directorship are yet to be finalized, Raterman said.

The general scope and purpose of the new director is to identify students who might be experiencing difficulty coping with stressors, including violence in schools, district officials said.

"In our world today where there are so many stressors facing our children; I believe our society needs to provide as many resources as possible," school board President Lisa Whiting said.

Students spend a substantial amount of their time at school and the district "has a unique opportunity to help" in a variety of ways, she said.

Although teachers, administrators, bus drivers and other school personnel help students succeed every day, "we know there are students with learning disabilities, drug-abuse situations, mental-health issues, social-media struggles, bullying and difficult home lives," Whiting said. "This important role of the director of student well-being will focus on identifying and obtaining resources to help children in need, ensure our teachers and staff members are ready to help when necessary and coordinate prevention programs."

Raterman said April 2 she was not aware if other central Ohio school districts have a similar position.

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