Introducing David Donofrio
David is a lifelong resident of central Ohio, and a proud product of our public schools. An experienced and award-winning local Board of Education Member. An involved member of our community, and a fierce supporter of teachers and public education.
Born at The Ohio State University, David Donofrio attended the Dublin City Schools from pre-K through 12th Grade, and owes his desire to serve to both the outstanding teachers he had, and also, the selfless example of his mother.
From an early age, David explored interests in music, business, government, other languages, science and diversity, each of which he can pinpoint as early as elementary school. The influence education had on his life, and the life of all Ohio kids, cannot be understated. To this day David remains in touch with many of his teachers throughout the years, who continue to inspire and light his path.
David Donofrio’s first post-collegiate career was as a Legislative Service Commission Fellow for the State of Ohio. This prestigious program, only accepting just over 20 applicants per year, has produced Ohio leaders from across the political spectrum. David’s placement in the Ohio House of Representatives allowed him to work with multiple legislators during the 2009–10 budget cycle, including Rep. Steve Dyer, who authored the education funding formula reforms that were signed into law that year.
David gained experience from rural, suburban and urban districts as a part of this experience, and gained a true passion for public policy. He was honored to be entrusted with even helping to craft language of some pieces of legislation, and to provide exceptional constituent services to Ohioans each day.
His career following the state included different stints in the public and private sectors, including industries like staffing, where he learned firsthand the importance of acquiring career-ready skills from a young age, and how career tech programs can change a person’s trajectory from the age of 18. Being exposed to a variety of employers and sectors gave him a strong command of what various industries are looking for in young people, and what skills should be emphasized as students approach graduation to set them up for success in the world.
In 2017, David Donofrio was recruited to run for the Board of Education for the South-Western City School District, Ohio’s 5th largest school district, and was elected. Serving four years on this Board was a privilege of a lifetime for David, where he served during the passage of a bond levy to open multiple new middle schools, collective bargaining negotiations, the challenges of the global pandemic, and diversity-related issues following the death of George Floyd. School Board service across America quickly transitioned during this time from a relatively quiet, under-the-radar role into one plunged into the national spotlight.
Nearly empty Board Meeting rooms consistently began to be packed to the walls by interested parties debating masks, diversity-related curriculum, and other issues. It certainly served as a time of transition for the Board, but not for David’s commitment to community outreach. During his four years, every week, David had a program titled Take Part Thursdays, where he visited a street in the district at random to talk with residents about the school district. During the pandemic, David was known for his engagement on social media, and willingness to email, call or meet with anyone on any side, to ensure everyone was being heard.
David is most proud of his work to bring inclusion into district policy language, passage of successful capital projects as the Board Member overseeing Facilities Development, and his initiation of partnerships with two nonprofits for the district — Mid-Ohio Foodbank (to feed more meals to more children), and Harper’s Corner (to bring inclusive topics into the district’s libraries). Professional development was also extremely important to David, and he spent countless hours to earn the Ohio School Boards Association’s New Member Passport in 2019, Award of Achievement in 2020, and Training Award in 2021
His commitment to bringing people of all parties together made him in both of his elections the most endorsed candidate, including twice endorsed by the local affiliate of the Ohio Education Association, SWEA, and many local and state-level officials. Regardless of his title or role, he remains continually in touch with teachers, parents, students and community members, working to make his district a better place for kids.
Currently, David Donofrio is the right-hand man for a CEO who works in several different business fields, as well as a nonprofit that assists the homeless in central Ohio. His commitment to the community runs deep as an Officer Candidate for the Ohio Military Reserve, the Friends of Southwest Public Libraries, Grove City Masonic Lodge, Ohio Prairie Association, member of the Ohio School Boards Association, founder of the award-nominated Prairie Harvest Festival and newly formed Pride in GC, just to name a few. David is a proud Buckeye fan and singer/songwriter, avid gardener, loves to travel, and enjoys spending quality time with family and friends. He resides in Grove City with his husband Ryan, cat Ohio, and dog, Bella.