Quaker Valley board seats up for grabs in primary
Voters in two of Quaker Valley's three regions will find contested races in the May 21 primary.
In Region I — which comprises Bell Acres Borough, Leet Township and Leetsdale Borough — four candidates are vying for one of two seats to be vacated by current board members Debbie Miller and Kay Wijekumar, whose terms expire at the end of the year.
Pennsylvania operates a closed primary, which means voters must be a member of a candidate's party to select that candidate. In most cases, school board candidates file in both parties for primary races.
The candidates are: Daniela Sauro Helkowski, of Leet; Jonathan Kuzma, of Leetsdale; P. Richard Warburton, of Leet; and David V. Weicht, of Leet.
Kuzma, 30, and a 2001 Quaker Valley graduate, said he wants to make a priority of “balancing the budget in a responsible way that takes into account the needs of the students without raising taxes.”
Kuzma, a real estate appraiser with Integra Realty Resources — Pittsburgh, has served on the Leetsdale Municipal Authority Board since 2009.
Warburton, 48, said he is a “believer in the value of education and the importance of a good school district to the entire community.”
Warburton, who, along with his wife Jenny, have two children in the district, called Quaker Valley “one of the best” school districts in the region, and said he would “work hard to push these standards even higher.”
He is the chief technology officer for ChemDAQ Inc., a Robinson-based manufacturer of gas detection monitors for workplace safety, and has not previously run for an elected position.
Weicht, 45, said the school board must be “fiscally responsible” while fulfilling its obligations of providing a “high quality education to all students in the district.”
Weicht, an attorney with Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl, said the school board should “should seek input from the community on major decisions, respect differences of opinion and strive to reach consensus when possible.”
Helkowski did not respond to a request for comment.
In Region III — comprised of Aleppo Township, Edgeworth Borough, Glenfield Borough, Haysville Borough, Glen Osborne Borough, Sewickley Heights Borough, Sewickley Hills Borough — two candidates will vie for one seat set to be vacated by board member Danielle Burnette.
The candidates are Robb D. Bunde, of Edgeworth, and Mary Ann Wagner, of Glen Osborne.
Bunde did not cross-file for the primary, according to the Allegheny County Elections Division.
Bunde, 48, is an attorney with Downtown-based law firm Bunde, Gillotti, Mulroy & Shultz, P.C., and has three children in the district.
Bunde said he wants to see the district continue to “thrive and provide an outstanding education for all students.”
“Education is crucial for success in today's society and an excellent school district can provide our children with a great foundation,” he said.
Wagner, 71, who previously served on the school board for 12 years and lost a re-election bid in 2009, said she is committed to “providing our students with the best education at a reasonable cost.”
Now retired, Wagner previously worked as a sales representative for L'Oreal Paris and U.S. Steel. She also was a credit analysis for U.S. Steel.
“My goal is to be involved in all things ‘financial' and keep millage low,” she said. “I will never vote for a tax increase.”
Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Bobby Cherry to your Google+ circles.
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.
- Plan for former Sewickley Country Inn site approved
- Lane: Welcoming guests? Make it easy
- Retiring official taking love of Leetsdale with her
- Sewickley Valley Girl Scouts adapt to digital cookie sales
- Photos: Sewickley Valley celebrates holiday season
- Repairs made to Sewickley stream
- Serafini: Recipe for family holiday fun falls short