Ohio State House District 19
Mary Lightbody has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and a doctorate in science education from Ohio State. For the last 25 years she has been in K-12 and university classrooms in central Ohio teaching science and the gifted in the Columbus, Hilliard, and Westerville schools. For the last 12 years, she has taught future teachers at Otterbein and Ohio State Newark how to teach science to their students in Ohio schools.
She started out as a country girl, growing up in Pepper Pike, east of Cleveland, when there were fewer houses and far more open land than are there now, and graduated from Orange High School. She married a guy from Tiffin, Ohio whom she met at college. While her husband, Rick, was enrolled in a PhD program in environmental engineering at MIT he learned during a routine physical that his kidneys were failing, and that he would be on dialysis within the next 18 months.
They addressed the issue by arranging to do Rick’s hemodialysis treatments at home, which meant their three children grew up with their father hooked to a dialysis machine in the family room three nights a week. Rick eventually got a kidney transplant, but after 16 years his immune system was no longer able to defend him from infections, and after a serious but brief illness and hospitalization in the fall of 2009 he came home, and died a few days later in his sleep.
Mary continues to teach full time at Ohio State Newark, but she has taken on new roles as a member of the Westerville Public Library Board of Trustees, as a deacon at First Congregational church in Columbus, and now as a candidate for the Ohio House of Representatives.