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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” 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” , 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 , 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 , 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 , 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 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” , 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."

careless fills November 03, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Candidates all have very decent jobs/careers, but I don't see anything specific to their educations as one might think from the headline, or anything that would distinguish one from another.
jeff shubzda November 03, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Personally after listening to the candidates speak that evening at the League of Woman Voters, their education, and background was important but the deciding factor for me was their dedication to volunteerism in the Emmaus community. Being involved in district/community activities is a key component to understanding the issues and problems facing our school district.
Rob Hamill November 03, 2011 at 06:38 PM
Chuck Ballard might be "highly educated", but he "forgot" that he received money and illegal teacher phone bank support which he has been trying to hide from. Anyone ever wonder how the teachers got 4.9% raises in 7 out of 8 years? They bought them! Nice to see Sandy Rhodes voting on his paycheck also. Glad that Stoltz and Donches are not soiled by union money, that is who I'm voting for.
Rob Hamill November 03, 2011 at 07:07 PM
Also why are the three newcomers, Bacher, Higgins, and pastor Wally associating themselves with the union member and the guy who forgets in public where he gets his money? Who will look after us normal people? I guess the East Penn children and families will take second place for at least another 2 years.
Upper Milford Lefty Righty November 03, 2011 at 08:35 PM
Here's 5 minutes of research: Degree's Earned by the Candidates - (From the Morning Call's Voter Guide): Ballard - BS, MS Bacher - BS, MS, PhD Rhodes - BS, MS (I assume by the information provided) Stolz - None (again an assumption from the information provided) Donches - AA Higgins - BA Vinovskis - BA, MDiv From City-Data.com % of Population 25 and older: 84.5% have a HS diploma or higher 24.6% have a bachelor's degree or higher 8.5% have a graduate degree or higher The author of this article can use the following information, if he'd like, to help support the title of the article. Also, the candidates are welcome to make changes to my research.
truth seeker November 03, 2011 at 10:38 PM
Just a few observations concerning the school board elections: 1) Five of the candidates either have or had children go through the district: Vinovskis, Higgins, Ballard, Bacher, and Rhodes. Stolz and Donches have none. 2) Five of the candidates are locally funded: Vinovskis, Higgins, Ballard, Bacher and Rhodes. Stolz and Donches are openly taking large amounts of money from outside this school district. Here is a big donor http://www.bobguzzardi.com/ Obviously this individual is an outside political activist. 3) 6 of the candidates have graduated college and many have gone to attain higher degrees. It would appear Mr. Stolz dropped out of college and may or may not be planning to continue his education
Artie November 04, 2011 at 01:31 PM
Education does not make for common sense. I know people who have eighth grade educations and can manage rings around most people who you call "educated". Lets stop padding your pensions and get back to the business of educating.
Upper Milford Lefty Righty November 04, 2011 at 06:02 PM
I just noticed that my post should read: % of Emmaus' Population 25 and older: I included this data for perspective purposes. I thought it was interesting that only 25% of Emmaus' population had a bachelor's or higher; less than 10% with a graduate degree. Regardless, Education and Experience go hand in hand and neither can operate without the other. A life long academic cannot replace real world experience with books; the most experienced worker cannot replace academic pursuit and research with job knowledge.
Roddy Piper November 06, 2011 at 06:51 AM
You must be one ignorant SOB Caribbean Queen to make that comment. Besides ignorant it is totally insensitive. What does a candidates OR standing board members being a parent have to do with being able to bring ideas to the the table? Possibly your parents should have exercised birth control! How do you like that for insensitivity and closed minded ness?
Tim Knecht November 07, 2011 at 10:11 PM
Caribbean Queen: It's frightening to think you you have procreated and passed on your brain cell. Apparently you discount the actual ability to think as a prerequisite for school board members. Cognitive ability raytes high with me; anyone (as you've shown) can make a kid.
Tim Knecht November 07, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Certainly, volunteering is ONE way to gain insight into the workings of the community, and to see who, among the current volunteers, actually accomplishes anything. It can be most illuminating.
agnes gackenbach November 23, 2011 at 02:11 PM
There is old and then there is OLD OLD OLDER.Comments like 'forgetting where your money is coming from', blah, blah, education, flag as inappropriate, water or taxes, OTTO OTTO OTTO,then there is the TRUTH SEEKER, (omg),who will look after us normal people?...as I started to say ..there is old and then there is OLD...

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