The Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools has a new director of human resources.

Stephanie Loucka, former vice president and general manager of Ohio Operations for Medical Answering Services, a non-emergency Medicaid transportation management company, began working for the district Nov. 12.

She fills the position formerly held by Matt Cygnor, now employed by Groveport-Madison Schools.

Loucka will be paid $115,677 annually, with a benefits package valued at $18,430, for a total annual package of $134,107, according to Judy Hengstebeck, the district's communications coordinator.

"I am excited about and grateful for the opportunity to serve the Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools," Loucka said. "This is a great district in our central Ohio community, one with a strong history but with a clear drive and focus on the future."

She said she's thrilled to work with such a fantastic team, helping the district's students and the community excel.

District Superintendent Steve Barrett said Loucka is a consummate human-resource professional, and her deep expertise will benefit the district immensely.

"She has extensive experience in talent recruitment, collective bargaining, human-resources management and budgeting," he said.

Barrett said Loucka is familiar with other important aspects of human resources, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, Fair Labor Standards Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. She also has more than 20 years of experience in public and private sector human-resources management and legal positions.

"Stephanie is an outstanding addition to our district and brings a wealth of knowledge from her background as a lawyer and expertise in employment law," Barrett said. "Her prior experiences in both law and human resources will be an asset to Gahanna-Jefferson."

Loucka was chosen from 28 applicants.

Her professional background includes being the former director of the Ohio Department of Aging and assistant director and chief of human resources for the Ohio Department of Administrative Services.

Loucka received a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Otterbein College in 1997 and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 2000.

"We are pleased to have someone of Stephanie's caliber and passion for learning join our team," Barrett said.