During her time competing for the Gahanna Lincoln High School girls track and field team, one of Kathryn Harris’ responsibilities was serving as a captain.

That experience was among those that the 2008 graduate believes has prepared her to be the Lions’ new athletics director.

Harris was approved by the school board July 18 after serving the last three years as the assistant to Dustin Cullen, who will become an assistant principal after four years as AD.

“I ran for coach (Roger) Whittaker and was a captain for him,” said Harris, who begins her new role Aug. 1. “Him putting me in a leadership role, I don’t even know if he knew how much that did for me. It was cool to be able to run for him and now to work with him.”

Harris earned a bachelor’s degree in human development and family sciences from Ohio State in 2012. She is working toward a master’s degree in athletic administration from Ohio University.

She previously served as the director of youth development at the Gahanna YMCA and was selected to take over as AD after interviews with a committee that included parents, teachers, coaches and administrators.

“Ms. Harris knows the program inside and out,” Cullen said. “She’s been an integral part of everything we’ve done for the past three years. Most importantly, she has a strong passion and desire to make GLHS athletics great for all the right reasons.”

During her time serving under Cullen, Harris was involved with several aspects of athletic administration, including game management and helping to facilitate a student-athlete leadership team.

In addition to her personal experiences in administration, her father, Jock Harris, previously served as athletics director at Marion-Franklin and as principal at Northland and Eastmoor Academy. Her mother, Carolyn, is a retired teacher.

“It’s a super exciting opportunity that I’ve really been looking forward to after working with Dustin the last three years,” Harris said. “I knew the end game for me was to be an AD. This is where I grew up and played sports. This community has given so much, and being able to lead in this aspect is an indescribable feeling. This transition is going to be smooth because I’m familiar with the coaching staff.

“Winning is always fun and it makes everything better, but my vision is having a positive culture. There’s a bigger purpose to athletics.”