Groveport Madison Board of Education members voted unanimously July 8 to name LaToya Dowdell-Burger to fill a vacancy created when Bryan Shoemaker resigned June 10 because he was moving out of the district.

Shoemaker was elected to his third term in November 2017. Dowdell-Burger will serve the remainder of the term, which ends Dec. 31, 2021.

ADowdell-Burger, who served active duty in Kuwait for nearly 15 months in 2004-05, works for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She also operates a private consulting service.

Dowdell-Burger has lived within the district since 2006 and has two children attending district schools.

"I am committed to my children's education and to ensure that all children in Groveport Madison Local Schools receive the best possible education we can provide," Dowdell-Burger said in a release from the district. "I am very detail-oriented and an extremely hard-working professional -- one who will bring brightness to the team and serve as a model to encourage others.

"I will thoughtfully use my life and work experiences to inform and guide my interactions with parents, teachers, and the district's administration as we work together for the benefit of our students."

Dowdell-Burger was one of seven applicants for the position. The others were Seth Bower, Wayne Bryan, Lisa Butts, Aaron England, Lori Rea and John Showman. Board members interviewed candidates during a special meeting June 24.

Board president Libby Gray said Dowdell-Burger stood out in what she called a highly qualified group of applicants.

"In the end, Ms. Dowdell-Burger proved herself the best fit to carry forward the district's vision," Gray said. "She brings to the table a commitment to the education of the children of Groveport Madison schools. She is highly respected, has extensive leadership experience, and understands the board's role with respect to governance through policy development and oversight."

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