8 candidates seeking primary nominations for North Allegheny School Board seats | TribLIVE.com
North Hills

8 candidates seeking primary nominations for North Allegheny School Board seats

Tony LaRussa
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Libby Blackburn
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Marcie Crow
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Chris Disque
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Mark Giuliani
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Peg Lehew
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Kevin Mahler
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Elizabeth Warner
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Shannon Yeakel

Voters in the North Allegheny School District will nominate five candidates from a field of eight seeking party nominations in the May 21 primary.

All candidates have cross-filed on the Republican and Democrat tickets, which means the five candidates from each party who receive the most votes will be nominated to run for five school board seats that will be open at the end of the year.

School board members serve four-year, unpaid terms.

Following is information submitted by the eight candidates as well as their response to the question:

Why are you seeking elected office and what do you hope your major accomplishment will be at the end of your term if elected?

Libby Blackburn

Home: Woodland Road, McCandless

Age: 55

Occupation: Retired

Previous elected office: Incumbent school director

I am honored to be a current North Allegheny School Board Director and have attended more meetings than anyone else running. I was very involved as a student and graduated from NA in 1982. I continued my involvement as a parent serving on the Superintendent Parent Liaison Committee, Elementary Advisory Committee, Professional Education Committee, Superintendent’s Planning Committee, and was President of the IES Parent Teacher Organization and Chair of the NA Foundation. My husband of 25 years and I are proud to have twins that graduated from North Allegheny last year. I love North Allegheny and am dedicated to continuing to help our district excel while remaining fiscally responsible to our resident taxpayers.

Marcie Crow

Home: Parkland Drive, McCandless

Age: 46

Occupation: Middle school teacher

Previous elected office: No

My passion is education. For the past 25 years, I’ve been privileged to serve in Pennsylvania’s Public School System as a middle school teacher, building administrator, volunteer, association leader, and child advocate.

I am running for a seat on North Allegheny’s school board because I want to use my years of experience working with students, teachers, administrators, field experts, and community members to ensure that NA’s tradition of excellence in academics, athletics, arts, technology, infrastructure, and community continue to be at the forefront of our thinking and the benchmark for other districts to emulate, while always remaining fiscally responsible.

Chris Disque

Home: Brittany Place, McCandless

Age: 46

Occupation: IT manager

Previous elected office: In fourth year on the NA School Board, current vice president

As Board Vice President, I have helped build a foundation of financial stability to support the district’s ability to be a leader in academics, athletics and the arts. I have made a commitment to reasonable class sizes, upgraded facilities, technology and innovative curricula – all within a strong financial framework. This has helped lead to the highest enrollment in district history.

I am running for re-election so that we can continue to build a strategic plan that includes facilities to support future growth, be leaders in developing new academic curricula and supporting student wellness, all within a framework of fiscal responsibility.

Mark Giuliani

Home: Highlander Circle, Marshall

Age: 45

Occupation: North American Consulting Leader – Dell Technologies

Previous elected office: No

Leaders within the North Allegheny school district must begin to look closer at enhancing the student experience while leveraging our budget in the most fiscally responsible way. I am not confident the administration is doing all it can in this regard, which is why I have chosen to seek a school board director position. If elected, I will work with my peers to challenge the district’s administration to strive for excellence in all our educational and extra-curricular endeavors while maintaining a reasonable fund balance, without raising taxes.

Peg Lehew

Home: Woodhurst Terrace, McCandless

Age: 56

Occupation: Homemaker

Previous elected office: No

My husband and I were born and raised in McCandless and are graduates of NA along with our three grown boys.

I have volunteered on various committees, for over 19 years. I am currently on the NA Unified Booster Organization executive board. I have a deep understanding of the NA education system. Having an Autistic son, I realize the importance of having a supportive and progressive school district. The teachers and the community of NA have helped to provide an excellent academic experience for our family. My long term commitment is to see that NA continues to prosper in a fiscally responsible way and insure that educational excellence is their number 1 priority.

Kevin Mahler

Home: Red Coach Road, McCandless

Age: 48

Occupation: Market Research Director, Adjunct professor of marketing

Previous elected office?: In sixth year on the NA school board, served as president and vice president.

During my time on the Board, we have worked transparently to make much-needed improvements to elementary class sizes, technology, budget/enrollment projections, facilities, and student health/wellness. As a result, NA currently has its highest-ever enrollment and a tax rate that is 6th-lowest in Allegheny County.

I am running again to ensure that I leave a strong foundation for future Boards. In particular, we need to ensure that the district is financially stable and has a plan for facilities, to accommodate future growth, while continuing to focus on educating the “whole child” and providing an environment that promotes student wellness.

Elizabeth Warner

Home: Red Coach Road, McCandless

Age: 43

Occupation: Volunteer

Previous elected office: No

After attending over 125 school board meetings, serving on a half-dozen district-wide advisory committees and as a PTA officer for five years, I’m uniquely qualified to serve as a new Board member.

In addition, the analytical skills I honed working as an air quality engineer are well-suited to understanding budgets and financial projections.

My four children have excellent academic and extra-curricular opportunities at NA. I’m running to ensure that the district continues to offer similar opportunities for all children while promoting student wellness and ensuring that our facilities can accommodate rising enrollment, all while making responsible financial decisions.

Shannon Yeakel

Home: Grosick Road, McCandless

Age: 40

Occupation: Director of real estate development

Previous elected office: No

I feel that I am a good candidate for the NA School Board because of my professional background and past experiences, along with the fact that I am an NA Alum and have children in the District. Professionally, I am the Director of Real Estate Development for a Pittsburgh based retailer where I negotiate Leases and have a broad understanding of construction and facilities. I am looking forward to working on ways to maintain our existing infrastructure and facilities in a cost effective way. We also need to continue to hold the District to the high educational standard that our reputation is built on.

Tony LaRussa is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tony at 724-772-6368, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | North Hills
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