The Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education has appointed Jennifer Chrysler as its newest member.

The Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education has appointed Jennifer Chrysler, a leader in urban development, as its newest member.

Chrysler, New Albany's community development director, was chosen from among 16 applicants.

"I'm really excited to serve," Chrysler said. "We've enjoyed our time here in Gahanna so much. I'm really looking forward to the opportunity to hear what the parents, teachers and students would like to see from my service and how I can continue to serve the Gahanna-Jefferson community to the best of my abilities."

School board President Beryl Piccolantonio said the board was looking for someone who could make a unique contribution.

"We're all excited to welcome Jennifer," she said. "She brings a wealth of experience as current director of community and economic development of New Albany and previous deputy development director in Gahanna."

Chrysler has worked for New Albany since 2005. She worked for the city of Gahanna from 1998 until 2005.

Chrysler, who was sworn in during the board's Dec. 8 meeting, succeeds Joe Gottron, who resigned Nov. 3. He's leaving Ohio to take a senior-level leadership position with BOK Financial Corp. in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Gottron was appointed June 9 to fill the 18-month unexpired term, ending Dec. 31, 2017, of Jill Schuler, who cited increased professional responsibilities and family obligations when she resigned May 24.

Piccolantonio said it's unusual for a board to go through the process of appointing a new member twice in one year.

"I'd like to thank everyone who was willing to serve on the school board," she said. "We all know what a big decision it is to put your name out publicly and to be willing to serve."

Piccolantonio said each member of the current board was an applicant for a board vacancy in 2011.

"We went through that process and none of us were chosen to fill that vacancy," she said. "We hope you stay involved. There are lots of opportunities to stay involved and volunteer. If you applied and weren't selected, I hope it doesn't discourage you from being involved."

After Schuler resigned, the board only had one week to fill the vacancy.

"This time we had a little more time," Piccolantonio said. "We interviewed each candidate who applied. We had 16 applicants and one withdrew before the interviews."

She said the board was pleased to have so many qualified applicants.

"We're very grateful to live in a district where so many are committed to our schools and kids," Piccolantonio said.

Chrysler and her husband have two children at High Point Elementary School and one at Gahanna Middle School East.

She has been a library volunteer at High Point and previously served on the Gahanna-Jefferson Education Foundation.

The G-J school district includes the city of Gahanna and Mifflin and Jefferson townships. The district has seven elementary schools, three middle schools and one high school, with about 7,400 students total.

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