Councilman Don Bryant
Councilman Bryant named one of Richland County's 10 under 40 awardees
Don is someone who genuinely cares about his hometown and the people who live here. At 29 years old, Don became the youngest person elected to city-wide office in Mansfield since 1967. As City Councilman, Don’s colleagues appointed him Chairman of public safety; with oversight of Mansfield police, fire, EMS and 911 call centers. He is also the first African-American Chairman of the Mansfield Airport Committee and member of the Mansfield Airport & Aviation Commission (MAAVCOM), with oversight of Mansfield Lahm Airport.
In addition to working on City Council, Don has served as an educator throughout the past seven years in a variety of positions within the Mansfield City School District including: English/Language Arts teacher, K-3 Reading Tutor, and most recently completed a two-year high-school principal apprenticeship program at Mansfield Senior High School. As a principal apprentice, Don’s role shifted from managing student discipline issues to managing building operations during times when the principal was out of the building or unavailable. Don worked to help reduce suspension rates; especially amongst those students identified as being ‘at-risk.’
As City Councilman, Don’s youth policy has focused on equipping young people with the readiness skills they need to be successful in the real-world. In 2015, he created the first Mansfield City Council Internship Program to provide opportunities for college students to acquire a full understanding of the legislative process and to earn academic credit for their participation.
However, even before thinking about becoming a teacher or running for office; in his young adulthood, Don wanted to help young people stay focused in school. In 2009 as an intern for former Mansfield Mayor Donald Culliver; he developed the Mayor’s Education Task Force. As Task Force Director, Don was able to recruit over 70 volunteers throughout Richland County, with the mission to help create a positive environment in the Mansfield City School District. By 2010, the Task Force in partnership with Mansfield City School teachers, administration and parents; helped reduce attendance and behavior issues by 30% within the entire Mansfield City School District.
In addition to public service, Don also manages a small public relations consultancy and works in the Registrar's Office at The University of Akron.