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Five candidates seek four seats on Gateway School Board

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Stephanie Byrne
George Lapcevich
Chad Stubenbort
Scott Williams

Five candidates are vying for four seats on Gateway School Board in the Nov. 5 election.

Newcomers Neal Nola, Stephanie Byrne and Chad Stubenbort won both Democratic and Republican party nominations in the May primary election. Incumbent Scott Williams won a Democratic nomination in the primary, and newcomer George Lapcevich won a Republican nomination.

Stephanie Byrne

Age: 29.

Political experience: Volunteer for various campaigns, member of the Monroeville Democratic Committee.

Job: Formerly worked in the legal industry.

Education: Bachelor's degree in political science.

Community involvement: Member of the Ramsey Elementary PTO, a contributing member of the League of Women Voters.

Family: Husband, Joseph; and two children, Dominic and Grace.

As a parent of a child in the Gateway School District, Byrne said, she hopes to see excellent academics, up-to-date technology and a respectable code of conduct be some of the major talking points for the board while maintaining the diverse student body.

“I can help preserve our Gateway population and draw more people into the district,” she said.

George Lapcevich

Age: 64.

Political experience: None.

Job: Retired from the Gateway School District and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning businesses; previously owned a pizza shop; former union representative and negotiator for Westinghouse.

Education: Trafford High School graduate, certified HVAC technician.

Community involvement: Member of the Scottish Rite and Shriners; volunteer with the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Family: Wife, Nancy; two children; and four grandchildren.

Lapcevich said he is running on the ideals of honesty, integrity and common sense. He said the students should be the main focus. As a resident of Monroeville for 30 years, Lapcevich said, he thinks this is his time to give back.

“I can't think of a better way than to give my time and commitment to our school district,” he said.

Neal Nola

Age: 49.

Political experience: None.

Job: Enterprise business data architect for Federal Home Loan Bank of Pittsburgh.

Education: McKeesport Area High School graduate and bachelor's degree in computer science and accounting from Bethany College; also a master's degree in finance and marketing from the University of Pittsburgh.

Community involvement: Has served as president and vice president of Monroeville Soccer Club; youth coach in Monroeville for soccer, baseball and basketball; member in the Monroeville United Methodist Church; past president and current board member.

Nola said he strongly believes in safety, fiscal responsibility, academic excellence, integrity and community pride.

Chad Stubenbort

Age: 23.

Political experience: 2011 Gateway School Board candidate.

Job: Financial representative with Northwestern Mutual.

Education: Gateway High School graduate, bachelor's degree in business administration from Duquesne University.

Community involvement: Vice president, firefighter and emergency medical technician for Monroeville Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1.

Family: Single.

Stubenbort said he would focus on two things as a school board member: academic excellence that is not focused on teaching to standardized tests and operating the school district within a budget.

“I would like to be part of the solution to once again make Gateway School District one of the highest-ranking academic schools in the state,” he said.

Scott Williams

Age: 48.

Political experience: In his 12th year as school board member, with more than 10 years experience as chairman of Gateway athletic committee and policy committee.

Job: Unemployed due to disability.

Education: Bachelor's degree in criminal justice at Edinboro University and a Gateway High School graduate.

Community involvement: President of Pitcairn baseball and softball.

Family: Single.

Incumbent Scott Williams said he wants to continue to re-establish Gateway as a premier school district in the eastern suburbs. He said curriculum, technology and the budget are a few areas that are most important to address.

Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or klawson@tribweb.com.

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