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Hampton/Shaler

Two Hampton school board members recognized by Pa. board

| Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017, 10:18 a.m.
Pennsylvania School Board Association representative Anthony Piscioneri, left, presented Hampton school board members Gail Litweler and Lawrence Vasko with an award for their years of service.
Pennsylvania School Board Association representative Anthony Piscioneri, left, presented Hampton school board members Gail Litweler and Lawrence Vasko with an award for their years of service.

Two school board members of Hampton Township School District were recognized for their combined 40-plus years of service by the Pennsylvania School Board Association.

They were presented with an award at an Oct. 9 school board meeting by Anthony Piscioneri, a manager for the PSBA. They were designated as part of the “honorable program,” reserved for those members who have served at least eight years.

Gail Litwiler has been serving for 28 years, while Lawrence Vasko has served for 16.

Litwiler was elected in 1989 and has her term ending this November. She is running again in the upcoming general election.

“The district is blessed with motivated students, accomplished and engaged faculty, outstanding administrators and staff, supportive families, a caring community, and a school board with a continual focus on quality education as the main objective,” said Litwiler, whose son, T.J., graduated from Hampton High School in 1984 and daughter, Tricia, graduated in 1992.

Vasko's wife, Chris, saw an ad for a school board opening. He ran and was appointed in 2002. As a certified public accountant, Vasko has worked in Hampton since 1977 and has lived here since 1995.

“It's gratifying being a part of such a well-run, successful school district. Of course, the biggest factor of our district's success is the parents, who expect excellence,” said Vasko, commenting on the great administration and staff.

His daughter, Katie, graduated in 2001, and son, Dan, in 2004. His term is up in November 2019.

Vasko and Litwiler are part of a much larger picture of other school board members across the state, according to data provided by Piscioneri.

The data comes from a board profile the PSBA conducts every four years to provide a demographic of school board member diversity and provides a “snapshot of the ‘typical' school director” to share with other school boards.

It also does a more involved “pulse point” survey of why directors serve, according to a PSBA report on the profile.

The last report was done in 2014.

“The ‘typical' school director is male, well-educated, 55 to 59 years of age, married with two children attending public schools, and devotes 16 to 20 hours per month to school board business,” according to the report.

A more detailed summary is provided on the report via the PSBA website, which also showed in 2014, 55 percent of school board members were Republican, 43 percent Democrat, 1.5 percent independent, and less than 1 percent listed as other.

Other 2014 PSBA graphs reveal that in 2014, for both incumbents and newcomers, 96.7 percent of school board directors are white and 1.7 percent are African American.

And the majority are Protestant at 45 percent in 2014 data, with Catholics following at 36 percent, no preference at 9 percent, Jewish at 3 percent, and other at 7 percent.

The 2014 data shows 96 percent have children that attended the same district they serve and 40 percent actually attended that district themselves.

Natalie Beneviat is a Tribune-Review contributor.

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