East Penn School Board Candidates are Highly Educated
But money is the key issue.
Editor's Note: This article is the third in a four-part series covering the Emmaus Borough Council and East Penn School Board races, which will be decided through the Nov. 8 general election.
Decades ago, a slogan often heard in East Penn School District was “Books not Bricks!’’
Today, it‘s a little more complicated.
“Web casting” and “cyber schools” are some of the buzz words stealing the spotlight in East Penn. The district includes Alburtis, Emmaus and Macungie boroughs and Lower Macungie and Upper Milford townships.
Seven people running for five four-year spots on Nov. 8 are seeking solutions on how to run one of Lehigh Valley’s finest school districts during a down economy, according to information provided by the League of Woman Voters.
Charles “Chuck” Ballard of Upper Milford Township has 16 years on the school board, making him the most veteran of those seeking reelection. He’s on both the Republican and Democratic slate. Born in 1946, he’s a nuclear engineer, retired from PPL.
“My vision is that we need to maintain a high quality of education, and be conscientious stewards of the public money being spent,” he told the League of Women Voters.
Also on both tickets is Samuel “Sandy” Rhodes, born in 1953, who teaches at Orefield Middle School and has five years on the East Penn School Board.
“East Penn‘s 2011 budget is less than last year,” he told the women voters. “If the state diverts public funds to cyber schools, private schools, and under funds public schools, teachers’ programs will be cut next.”
Kenneth Bacher, an electrical engineer, is employed at CyOptics in Breinigsville. Listed as a Republican and Democrat, Bacher, born in 1966, believes in well-rounded education, saying it should include “challenging academics, music, art and athletics."
Julian Stolz, born in 1987, is seeking a reelection. He’s executive director of Pennsylvanians for Right to Work and a Republican. He writes for former Emmaus Borough Councilman Otto Slozer’s “Lehigh Valley Commentator.’’
“The district needs to be more conservative with spending in order to give parents and taxpayers more bang for their buck,” he told the women voters.
Lynn Donches, born in 1959, is chief librarian at Rodale and running for the first time.
“I will support transparency -- web casting of meetings and open dialogue during meetings," she said.
Brian Higgins is a specialty oncology consultant with ProStrakan. Born in 1972, he’s a member of LMT Zoning Hearing Board, which is handling the Jaindl land decision.
“Taxes are the issue,“ he told the women voters. “They always seem to be the issue.’’
Waldemar “Wally” Vinovskis, born 1963, is pastor at Concordia Lutheran Church in Macungie and a member of the Lehigh Valley Community Broadcasters Association.
“We simply cannot continue to raise local taxes," he said. “We need to run a tight ship while maintaining our legacy of high achievement in education."