7 candidates, 4 Lewisburg Area School Board positions | Election


Seven candidates will compete for four positions on the Lewisburg area school board in the general election on November 2.

The seven made up the bulk of the field in the spring primary and all made it to the fall: incumbents Mary K. Brouse, Lisa B. Clark, Mary Ann Sigler Stanton and John M. Rowe; challengers Kristin E. Kraus, Heather Haynos and Jaime Lyons.

The term of office of a school principal lasts four years.

Brouse spoke of the difficulties facing public schools due to COVID-19 and the ongoing pandemic. Education has been difficult for both students and teachers, she said. Masking is a concern inside and outside the district, she said, pledging to support administrators in adhering to guidelines and mandates.

“As a member of the board of directors, we have a responsibility to all students and to ensure the safety of staff and students in our buildings. Masking works for this. I will continue to join our administration, which receives advice from the Ministry of Health. Our goal is to keep our students and staff safe while they work and learn, ”said Brouse.

Clark said bullying is more prevalent and intense, making social media a 24-hour concern for students. It becomes “systemic” within the district community, leading to lower academic performance and increased costs as staff pay more attention to solving the problem.

“The district should focus its attention and develop an action plan to deal with bullying. The district and the community need to recognize that we have a serious problem with bullying, a problem that has huge social and economic costs for everyone, ”said Clark. “We need early education for students and families, much earlier intervention when district staff are made aware or informed about bullying, and the consistent and universal imposition of significant disciplinary consequences for students who persist in harassing behavior. “

Kraus calls on the Lewisburg region to continue to be innovative in the face of challenges. The innovation is what led to HVAC upgrades in the three oldest school buildings in the district. She said tax innovation is a necessity to make the best use of the district’s limited funds. Innovation is also needed in education, she said.

The Lewisburg region will need to “be programmatically innovative by evaluating and adopting best practices in classroom programs to prepare all students for both higher education and the jobs of tomorrow, and to demonstrate leadership. innovation in leveraging partnerships with community resources available in our region, including the Intermediate Unit, local businesses, universities, hospitals and health systems.

Haynos said the school district needs to pay more attention to equity as the community’s demographics diversify.

“As our district becomes more diverse, we must be responsive to the needs of students and families from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. By making small adaptations to the programming and the way we communicate about what is happening in our schools, we can ensure that no student or family misses out on educational and extracurricular experiences due to socio-economic, cultural or other barriers. linguistic, ”said Haynos.

Lyons said the district needs to focus more on preparing all students for success beyond high school, whatever their plans, whether it’s college, business school or other. Discussions are needed beyond just exploring the benefits of colleges and trade schools. The education and emphasis on the potential financial burden versus the financial performance of degrees should be emphasized, Lyons said, suggesting offering more resources and speakers to offer ideas and advice.

“Examples are financial planners for colleges or potential business ventures who may be willing to spend time talking to children in general terms. Just for the kids to think about those areas. We also have great resources such as the Self Advocates which is a local group that helps adults with disabilities start looking at their goals, ”Lyons said.

Rowe called on the district to commit to “fiscal responsibility and keeping taxes as low as possible” and to make schools welcoming to all who inhabit Lewisburg.

“Diversity of all kinds in our community helps our students prepare for their experiences in the world,” Rowe said. “High property taxes can be an insurmountable burden on many established residents and prevent others from owning a home in the neighborhood. I would continue to advocate for a fair balance between meeting educational needs and levying only the taxes necessary to do so. “

Stanton cited strategic staffing as a short and long term necessity. It will take innovation and an entrepreneurial approach to reduce staff shortages at all levels and find the funds to do so, she said. She noted how the pandemic is challenging students and impacting their education – having to adapt to distance learning, returning to classes in person, and dealing with gaps in the development of social and emotional skills. .

“Many have adjusted remarkably well, but still others have suffered from anxiety and depression following the end of the pandemic. We’re already seeing the short-term impact, but we just won’t know all the long-term impacts until they materialize, ”Stanton said. “Classroom teachers and building administrators cannot be everything for all students, and we will need to find ways to build support in all of our buildings for our students and for our teachers. “

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