Westerville Board of Education President Gerrie Cotter announced Nov. 12 that Vaughn Bell has been chosen to fill the unexpired term of board member Richard Bird, who resigned Oct. 31 to pursue a career opportunity in Colorado.

"I look forward to joining the board and working on behalf of the community to bring our children an exceptional educational experience in our Westerville City Schools," Bell said.

Bell is the senior pastor at Triumphant Church of God in Westerville. He holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Ohio State University and a master's of divinity from the United Theological Seminary and expects to receive his doctor of ministry from Anderson University in 2019.

He has served as a member of the district's Elementary Attendance Boundary Realignment Committee, the Community Engagement Committee and the Financial Review Committee, as president of the African American Parent Association and as a community representative on the District Strategic Plan Committee.

"In these various roles, I was responsible for providing the board of education with recommendations," Bell said. "This volunteer work also helped me develop an understanding of how school systems operate and gain experience interfacing with the public regarding public school policies and finances."

Cotter said she looks forward to Bell joining the Board of Education.

"We have several important initiatives on the horizon and his prior work with our district will allow him to acclimate quickly to the role," she said.

The board was scheduled to appoint Bell during a special meeting Nov. 13 at the Early Learning Center in Westerville.

With approval, he would be sworn in during the board's next regular meeting, set for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 19, at the Early Learning Center.

Others who were considered for the position included Jennifer Aultman, World Heritage project coordinator for the Ohio History Connection; Noni Banks, business owner of the Diva Movement; Beau Billet, manager at the Edward Orton Jr. Ceramic Foundation; Mark Faubel, financial advisor of Jericho Financial; John Gonzales, attorney with the Behal Law Group, LLC; Rachael Igram, business development coordinator at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP; Colleen Moidu, director of the Westerville Education Foundation; Charles Rutherford Jr., solutions professional at Advocate Solutions; and Kyle Warden, strategic analyst at the Department of Defense.

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