A Plum school board vacancy, created after a member resigned following a controversial Facebook post, has been filled | TribLIVE.com
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Michael DiVittorio

The Plum school board has a new member.

Karin Acquaviva was selected out of 10 candidates to replace Brian Wisniewski, who resigned after sharing a controversial Facebook post last month.

The post showed a picture of a man holding a gun with the American flag as a backdrop with these words: “Does it worry anybody that we have three devout Muslims in Congress who have unlimited access to our TOP SECRET GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS?”

Wisniewski initially said the sharing was an accident. In his resignation letter to the school district, Wisniewski said he was sincerely sorry for the post that happened “in a moment of frivolity.”

Acquaviva, 46, was appointed via a 6-1 vote Tuesday night. Board member Jim Rogers dissented and Rich Zucco was absent. Rogers nominated Mark Stropkaj to replace Wisniewski, but his motion died due to lack of second.

Acquaviva was sworn in by notary Sharon Sharlock.

“I don’t want to see the forward growth stop,” Acquaviva said about joining the board. “Right now, a lot the things that have changed the past several years are really good for the district. Safety and security have turned a 180 from what it was. (Student) education is very important, but their safety is even more important. I believe strongly about things and I want our district to do well.”

Acquaviva studied the travel industry through Forbes Road Career & Technology Center, worked as an office manager for a travel agency and currently serves as manager for a doctor’s office. Her daughter graduated from Plum last year.

She was welcomed by board members and administrators.

“What stood out for me was her honesty,” board President Scott Coulson said. “She took time to think about her answers (to interview questions). You can tell they were thought through and honest. What I like best is her participation in the community. She’s familiar with the borough and the school district.”

Wisniewski had two years left on his four-year term. His elected post will be put on the November ballot.

Acquaviva will serve through this year and plans to run in the upcoming election to keep her seat. She addressed her predecessor’s actions after Tuesday night’s meeting.

“I respected him,” she said. “I don’t agree with (his post). In today’s day and age, we have got to embrace diversity and be respectful of everybody’s differences.”

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