3 candidates vie for 2 Fox Chapel Area School Board seats
The only contested race for Fox Chapel Area School Board pits a newcomer against two incumbents in a bid for two Region 3 seats.
Democrat Nancy Snider will compete against Chip Burke and Joel Weinstein, who both cross-filed.
Incumbents Sherman Snyder and Robert Mauro are unopposed in races for Regions 1 and 2.
The election is Nov. 5.
Snider is a 40-year resident of O'Hara who touts her career in education as a plus.
Retired after four decades in teaching from Central Catholic High School, Snider said she is “very aware of everything that goes on in a district.”
“When you go into a school, it's not about politics,” said Snider, whose two children attended classes in the Fox Chapel Area School District. “Education should be for everyone, and I want to make sure all students get the opportunity they deserve.”
Snider said she is acutely aware of costs and curriculum struggles. Even prior to teaching, Snider said, she lobbied for 25 percent of the state budget to be directed to schools, she said.
“I have experience negotiating contracts and navigating student needs,” said Snider, adding that her priority is to make sure each child has access to technology and a good education, no matter what their background.
“Students might be very bright but not have access to equipment,” she said. “I have experience with working with superintendents, staff and finances. I understand money matters and what is necessary on both sides.”
Weinstein, with 17 years board experience, also said his priority is to maximize potential for all students. He said the board continually works to link students with the appropriate help to ensure success.
It's something he hopes to continue, said Weinstein, whose two daughters came through the district.
The retired executive also wants to help guide the district through the potential finance obstacles of pension payouts.
“What's happening is that you have to pay off pensions from the budget, and they're cumulative,” he said. “No school district can support the pension fund unless the people in Harrisburg change the policy.”
The school board does not regulate how pensions are paid. The board has money currently set aside for payments but it will become an issue, Weinstein said.
“We're in good shape up to now, but that only lasts a couple years. You're going to see a lot of schools not being able to make their budget, and when you start to make cuts, you cut services to students who need it the most,” he said.
Burke said he is running for a third term in the hope of continuing what he thinks is excellent work by the school board.
“From what I hear from parents, most people are very satisfied with what the board is doing,” he said. “We want to maximize the potential of each child. That means improving academic achievement while at the same time doing a superb job at keeping tax rates among the lowest in Allegheny County.”
Burke is a lifelong resident of the district and said he's proud of the progress it has made in academic standings. The Business Times, he said, ranked the school as No. 6 in Allegheny County, up from 15 last year.
At the same time, Dorseyville Middle School was named a “School to Watch” by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.
Burke said he also is excited to usher in the district's capital campaign that will see improvements to all six buildings over the next three years.
“We're guiding the district through difficult financial times while continuing to improve the buildings,” he said.
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Aspinwall officers join program to help find lost individuals
- Blawnox woman greets Boyd visitors with smile
- O’Hara-based furniture drive to benefit Habitat for Humanity
- Fox Chapel dragon boat team claims title as best in nation
- Masters swim club hits Shady Side Academy pool, seeks members
- Scholarship formed in memory of Fox Chapel Area star athlete
- Aspinwall officials consider benefits of joining land bank