A retired military procurement officer and high school teacher was sworn in Aug. 6 as the newest member of the Gilbert Public Schools governing board.

William Parker was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Reed Carr when Carr resigned effective June 30. Maricopa County Schools Superintendent Steve Watson made the appointment.

Parker’s first board meeting will be Aug. 10.

Parker was among 17 applicants for the position but not among the four applicants recommended for the opening by the district. Those four were: Collette Evans, a loan originator for a real estate lending firm and co-founder of the Unite for Education AZ Political Action Committee; Cody Jacobs, a human relations executive and retired Air Force colonel active in the Boulder Creek Elementary PTO; Trina Jonas, a realty business owner involved in parent groups at Greenfield Elementary School and Greenfield Junior High; and Blake Robison, an orthodontist involved in parent groups at his children’s schools.

“I am excited to see so much interest in local education leadership, and it was a tough decision with so many wonderful applicants,” Watson said in a release through his office. “Mar. Parker is not just a teacher, but a proven leader who cares deeply about the district and has a strong background in public finance.”

As a logistics officer in the Marine Corps, Parker managed procurement, budgeting, financial management, maintenance and transportation functions.

After his retirement from the Marines as a major, he worked for three in the State of Arizona Auditor General’s Office as a performance auditor for three years.

He then taught Navy JROTC for two years at Independence High School in Glendale and 15 years at Apache Junction High School before retiring in 2018.

Parker has two daughters who graduated from Mesquite High School in Gilbert.

“My wife and I sincerely appreciate the education our children received from GPS,” Parker said in the release. “That educational background enabled our children to successfully complete college degrees and receive academic scholarships for their university programs. I am certain we can provide opportunities like this to all students.”

In his application, Parker said he saw this opportunity as a chance to give back to the community.

“I have no political aspirations, and I am not an advocate for any particular cause,” Parker wrote. “My only goal is to support the students and teachers in GPS.”