Several newcomers win Riverview school board seats, 1 incumbent lost |

Several newcomers win Riverview school board seats, 1 incumbent lost

Michael DiVittorio
Jennifer Chaparro of Oakmont
Riverview School Board President Maureen McClure
Riverview School Board Member Tara Schaaf
Melanie Pallone
Jane Miller of Oakmont
Brian Hawk of Oakmont

A Riverview School District incumbent was defeated and several newcomers earned seats on the school board Tuesday night, according to unofficial returns by the Allegheny County Elections Division.

Five four-year seats were up for grabs this year.

The winners include: Newcomer Jennifer Chaparro at 18.06% of the vote; incumbent Tara Jean Schaaf at 14.58%; newcomer Jane Miller at 16.68%; and board President Maureen McClure at 15.62%.

Alex DiClaudio lost his bid for another four-year term. He was the lowest vote-getter at 10.48%. Board members David DiPietro and Ernest Tillman did not seek reelection.

One contest has yet to be decided: Preliminary election results show Democrat Melanie Pallone and Republican Brian Hawk are tied at 12.23%. However, the returns may not take into account military, absentee or write-in votes.

County officials said an Election Return Board will be sworn in Friday to start the review and certification process, which may take a few weeks to finalize.

Officials said the winner will be decided by flipping a coin if there is still a tie after the board’s work is complete.

The deadline for military and overseas ballots to be returned is Tuesday, Nov. 12.

Hawk said he was told absentee ballots were included in the reported results.

“Short of computer error, I am assuming we will be notified when the next step in the process will be scheduled,” Hawk said via email Wednesday. “I am obviously disappointed in not winning one of the five seats outright, but am encouraged to still have an opportunity to win the seat. I met so many great people in our community during this process that, win or lose, I plan to keep involved with our school district.”

Chaparro could not be reached for comment.

McClure, who will enter her third term, said one of the Oakmont voting stations had problems with their machines, delaying a final report.

“I’m very grateful and quite surprised by all the support and hope to be able to live up to it,” McClure said. “Riverview is a school district in both Oakmont and Verona, and it’s very important to keep those relationships healthy and balanced.”

McClure said her departing colleagues will be missed.

“The people who are leaving have contributed a lot to the district in terms of their time and expertise,” she said. “It will be difficult to fill their shoes, but we have new people and we have a younger group, which is very exciting. We look forward to trying to maintain the small school district as it tries to balance support for parents and support for seniors. That balance is very complicated.”

DiClaudio, who was in his first term on the board, accepted the loss late Tuesday despite the last precinct not officially reported.

“I’m really disappointed by the results,” he said. “I’m proud of the four years I was able to serve my community and my school. I had to make some hard choices along the way, which were not always popular, but I put what I thought was in the best interest of Riverview first.

“When I made my decisions, I never worried about how that was going to play in the next election. I think that’s something a lot of people weren’t happy with.

”I congratulate the winners and wish the board a lot of luck moving forward. Riverview’s important to me. I’m not going anywhere and will be eagerly watching from the sidelines. I hope all the people who won are up for the challenge and I wish them luck.”

The school board reorganizes the first week of December.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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