Meet Jennifer Fry from the LCC Class of 2021

| April 15, 2021

Jennifer Fry

Jennifer Fry was raised in Coshocton County, always within the River View Local School District. A River View graduate, Fry was involved with choir and band, where she played clarinet; bass trumpet and mellophone in the marching band. Following graduation, she attended Akron University for one year and transferred to the Ohio State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies.

Following graduation, Fry returned to Coshocton and worked for the Longaberger Basket Company in the Child Care Center as a preschool teacher -but not in the “infamous” basket headquarters. After working there for about a year, Fry accepted a position with children’s services in 1997, which was at that time its own separate entity from Coshocton County Department of Job and Family Services (CCDJFS). She remained with children’s services for 10 years, during which time it merged with CCDJFS. Fry changed positions within DJFS to work in child support and recently took on additional duties as child support team lead. December 2021 will mark 24 years of service to the community.

As team lead for child support, Fry trains new employees as well as ensuring existing employees are current with policy changes. In addition, she works in case management, specifically with paternity cases – establishment of paternity and child support orders. This requires DJFS to find the father to establish paternity – sometimes for “DNA-only” or more often for child support. “DNA-only” is requested for parties to establish paternity to obtain a final and enforceable order of paternity when the Paternity Acknowledgment hasn’t been signed. “Paternity and support” are the majority of cases Fry handles.

Much of Fry’s life was spent supporting her children’s involvement in sports.  Soon to have her youngest child graduate from high school, she is hoping to become involved in the community.

With retirements, position changes and new employees within child support at DJFS, Fry was “nervous” about her new position and leadership role. She decided Leadership Coshocton County was a “good opportunity at the right time” to gain self-skills in leadership roles; learn about the community and push herself out of her comfort zone.

Fry considers Coshocton to be a “great community to live in and raise a family, because it’s not too big or small.” She sees it as a “close-knit community,” and prefers to live in the country rather than the city. She recognizes there are a lot of things going on that are “sad- drugs; homelessness; things we don’t always know about” there is a strong-base to the community and “a lot of members doing positive things.” “People come together to help during hard times.”

To make the county stronger, Fry stresses encouraging others to want to do better for themselves which will help the community. As she stated, “When one succeeds, we all succeed.”

Fry would recommend Leadership Coshocton to others, stating, “I’ve lived here my whole life and learned things about the community I didn’t know.”  Her favorite day so far was agriculture – she “found something new to learn at all locations – it was very amazing.” She also appreciates the help to “grow outside her comfort zone and improve her people skills in group settings.”

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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