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Ringgold interviews potential board candidates

| Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2001

A former director, a retiring councilman and a Charleroi Area School District employee vied for one vacant position on the Ringgold School Board Monday night.

The three hopefuls will have to wait until Wednesday to find out who will be chosen by the board.

The candidates are:

  • Phillip A. Quattrone, who was a member of the board for five months in late 2000, filling a vacancy when then-director George "Jack" Henson resigned.

  • New Eagle Councilman Walter Seal, who had previously tendered his resignation from council effective Jan. 31, 2002.

  • Maria Ripepi, a mother of five who recently was hired as a school nurse at Charleroi Area Middle/High School.

    The vacancy occurred when Dr. Nikki Trotta was elected to both an at-large and a Region II position on the board. Ringgold voters elect directors both at large and by district.

    Trotta chose to accept the at-large position.

    Five board members were on hand for Monday night's public meeting, which was attended by just one resident.

    District Superintendent Larry Golembiewski's interviews with the three candidates were taped so they can be viewed by directors Lawrence Mauro, Roger D'Emidio and Trotta, who were not present.

    Eligible candidates have to be at least 18-years-old, a resident of the school district at least one year and reside in Region II, which includes New Eagle and parts of Monongahela and Carroll Township.

    Golembiewski asked six questions of each candidate, including verifying their residency requirements.

    The questions and the candidates' responses follow:

    1.Give your main reason for seeking this position.

  • Ripepi said she wants to continue the excellent education of the district.

  • Quattrone said he would utilize his experience in accounting and public audits to assist the district.

  • Seal said he has spent much of his life in community service, from serving as a New Eagle Councilman and borough tax assessor to a member of the library board, historical society and grange, and enjoys giving public service.

    2.What do you perceive as your role as a member of the board•

  • Ripepi said she believes her role would be to bring new ideas to the board and continue the excellent education of the district.

  • Quattrone said directors should set a good example for the students and help out administrators, teachers and students.

  • Seal said the position of school board director is respected in the community.

    3.Identify three goals you plan to focus on as a member of the board.

  • Ripepi identified education, academics and sports.

  • Quattrone said education for the students and finding ways to motivate teachers would be his goals.

  • Seal said he'd be able to help the board in finances because of his experience as a tax assessor, and lend his experience in labor relations.

    4.Identify any shortcomings in the district's programs.

  • Ripepi said she is pleased with the district's gifted and special programs, but believes more could be done for others students.

  • Quattrone said there are no shortcomings in the district's programs, adding that he has seen the administration leading the district in the right direction.

  • Seal said he'd want to make sure the school buildings are sound and would improve the public address system at the high school stadium. He said computer improvements would be beneficial as well as improving students' preparedness to attend college after high school.

    5. Identify the district's strengths and weaknesses.

  • Ripepi said the district's excellent educational system and excellent educators are its greatest asset.

  • Quattrone said the district's strengths come from good leadership.

  • Seal said the district's diversity from various communities in the district as well as its transportation system are its best assets.

    Board President Larry Speer said the board would discuss the candidates in executive session prior to its meeting Wednesday.

    The board expects to elect one of the candidates at that public session, Speer said.

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