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Pennridge School District School Director (4 YR Term) {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

A school board is a legislative body of citizens called school directors, who are elected locally by their fellow citizens and who serve as the governing body of each public school district. Each board consists of nine members who serve four-year terms of office. Unlike most other elected officials, school directors receive no compensation for their work. Principal duties include appointing and/or dismissing superintendents, principals and teachers; levying school taxes; purchasing land; locating new buildings; adopting textbooks and courses of study; fixing salaries of teachers and other appointees of the Board.

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    Megan Banis-Clemens
    (Rep)

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    Joan Cullen
    (Rep)

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    Kyle Esposito
    (Dem)

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    Ryan Gerhart
    (Rep)

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    Kelley Peloquin
    (Dem)

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    Alex Rajan
    (Dem)

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    David A. Reiss, Sr.
    (Rep)

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    Sherry L. Thompson
    (Rep)

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    Lisa Wilson
    (Dem)

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    Peter A. Yarnell
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What concerns or issues prompted you to run for School Board, and how do you propose to address them?

What qualifications and experience do you have that will assist you in the performance of the duties of this office?

Experience School Board Director 2015-present, Current President/Finance Chair, Board Director- BCIU (IU), UBCTS (tech school), BCDSIG (Down Syndrome) & formerly PYSA (soccer), Mutual Ministry Committee (church)
Education BA Elementary Education (K-6) Middle School Math (7-9) Middle School English Language Arts (7-9)
Email address Megan.banis@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (267) 733-5454
Twitter @pennridgefirst
When I first ran 4 yrs ago, I set out to use my experience as a graduate, parent, teacher, coach, volunteer, foster parent, and taxpayer to help the various groups see things through the perspective of others in order to solve problems and develop fair solutions, with students being the ultimate priority. At that time, debt ($21 million new in 2 yrs), taxes, and class sizes were increasing, capitalizing millions in interest, with no long-term plan, and without prioritizing the classroom. The results are clear. We are not raising taxes, not taking on new debt or borrowing from fund balance, prioritizing supports to the classroom while reducing administrative overhead, settling fair, 5 year contracts with staff, and developing long-term financial planning that eliminates the need to raise taxes or borrow money for the foreseeable future. My current focus is on expanding job readiness skills through community partnerships, earlier exposure to career pathways, and hands-on opportunities.
In addition to my education background, financial & management experience, and service on numerous boards & committees; I have significant leadership experience and a proven track record of keeping my promises as current Board President and Finance Chair. I serve on all committees, have chaired Facilities, Policy, PACC, & Act 48. I served on the Comprehensive Planning Committee & attended numerous conferences thru PSBA & NSBA for professional development. We have instituted long-term financial planning in all areas, for the first time, reducing non-essential costs & bridging us to the debt drop, while increasing supports to the classroom, providing staff with the tools needed to be successful, decreasing class sizes, and raising curriculum standards. I am committed to evaluating cost saving measures, while prioritizing a well-rounded education that meets the individual needs of all students, enabling them to thrive in academics, athletics, music, the arts, woodworking, and the trades.
Experience School Board Director, 2015-present, Bucks County Planning Commission, 2017-present, Pennridge School District Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee, past president of home-school and booster clubs.
Education B.S. Secondary Education, Social Sciences, Penn State University
Email address joancullen972@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (267) 885-5520
I sought my first term because I wanted to help by lending my knowledge and experience in education and community affairs. I'm proud of the things we've accomplished during my tenure on the school board, such as having for the first time in at least 20 years, a completely balanced budget with no tax increase and no borrowing. It's also the third year in a row with no tax increase. We were able to achieve that while still adding resources, programs, and services which directly benefit students and teachers, such as K-12 STEM classes, guidance counselors and psychologists, Kindergarten busing, instructional coaches, tech devices, building security, and A/C in elementary large instruction spaces. Looking forward, I'd like to focus on our career and post-secondary preparation, continue improvement of the dual enrollment program, which is already undergoing positive changes, and develop a centralized volunteer management system, to effectively use the intellectual capital in our community.
While my past experiences in education, community volunteering, and leadership gave me valuable skills as a new board member, my most significant qualification now is my experience as a current school board director. Throughout my first term, I've worked diligently to obtain training on effective board director service. I attend every board committee meeting possible, to make sure I'm informed about what's happening, and so I'm prepared to vote at general meetings. I have attended the PA School Boards Association (PSBA) conferences in 2016, '17, and '18, for continuing education, and to learn about best practices. I also served on PSBA's Commonwealth Educational Blueprint Steering Committee in 2017, and recently attended the National School Board Association conference, as well. I'm grateful for the community's investment in ongoing training and education for school board directors. I will continue working to ensure the community reaps a benefit from those investments in my next term.
Experience Professional Business Broker, Student, active volunteer in the community, including the Young Adult Advisory Board and the Bucks County Suicide Prevention Subcommittee.
Education Candidate for Degree in History from Bucks County Community College
Email address candidate@kesposito.com
Campaign Phone (215) 804-5264
Twitter @OnePennridge
My deep concerns over school security and wellness are what motivated me to run. There are difficult challenges our district’s parents and students are struggling to overcome, and that much of our staff and faculty face on a regular basis. Very often the most important step toward a solution is just having good information.

The Pennridge School Board should take a renewed focus on mental health and emotional wellness, with forward-thinking solutions and positive, consistent communication. I believe this would best be accomplished by reviewing and improving our district's responses through a Safety and Security Board Committee, which would focus and improve the physical and emotional safety of the school community.

The proposed creation of this committee and the prioritization of security are why I am running with ‘One Pennridge’. Please vote for Kyle Esposito, Lisa Wilson, Kelley Peloquin and Peter Yarnell.
Many of the issues a Board Director deals with are incredibly personal to me. As a recent Pennridge graduate, I can clearly remember the daily experiences, large and small, of a student. I am very connected to my time in Pennridge, but also to the many changes and challenges students will face after graduation.

Much of my experience is in fostering communication. I am a professional business broker, which has given me experience consulting and has taught me how to bring two parties together for a common goal. I understand when there is something to gain from an agreement, and when it is best to walk away.

I also have gained important experience in communication while serving our community. During my time volunteering with the Bucks County Suicide Prevention Subcommittee and the Young Adult Advisory Board, I have developed more informed and positive communication skills. This has also given me insight on how best to confront the complex challenges affecting young adults.
Experience Lead Audit Specialist (three years), Compliance and Regulatory Analyst (seven years)
Education BS, Business Administration, Millersville University of Pennsylvania
Email address ryangerhart22@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (267) 614-4382
Some of the major issues facing the district, including a new labor agreement and a completely balanced budget, have recently been resolved by the current board members. I believe they have done a tremendous job with prioritizing education while developing a long-term financial plan that is fair and beneficial for the students, faculty and community. Seeing the work that they have done and getting to know some of the people working tirelessly to make Pennridge a great school district compelled me to get involved and contribute to their ongoing success. There will be many opportunities and challenges facing the district as the landscape of education changes and I hope to be a part of that process and contribute to the success by doing what is right and putting our students first.
I am an eight-year resident of Hilltown Township and Pennridge School District and have been working in the insurance industry for ten years, including my current role as a Lead Audit Specialist. I have a bachelor’s degree from Millersville University in business administration. My education and work experience have helped me develop strong leadership, communication, analytical, and problem-solving skills which is a good foundation for success. Having never been on a school board, I feel I can offer a unique perspective on the various topics that may be presented. I know that there will be a lot to learn; however, I'm confident that I will be able leverage my education and experience to excel. In addition, I am currently working with some of the current school board members and educating myself as much as possible in order to succeed in this role, if I am fortunate enough to be elected. I value the importance in doing what is right, especially for the students of Pennridge.
Experience Teacher, volunteer, president of parent groups at both the elementary and middle school.
Education BS from High Point University MS from California University of PA MS from Drexel University
Email address onepennridge@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (267) 209-3392
Twitter @OnePennridge
I have lived in Pennridge since 2005 and I have always been involved with my children’s school. Pennridge is a great district, and I am so proud our family is a part of it. Over the years, I have had a desire to get involved at a higher level and use my experience to positively impact a greater number of students. For me, school board is an opportunity to lead beyond the parent groups. I chose to run for school board because I want to help elevate our district to the next level and create pride and excitement in every community member across the district. I want to maintain smaller classroom size and cultivate a culture of learning in a positive school environment by supporting and challenging our teachers to develop innovative teaching strategies. I am running with OnePennridge because they share my vision and passion for this district.
My first career was as an athletic trainer, where I provided athletic training services to middle and high school athletes. When I moved into management, I learned how to go through the contract process & the importance of being able to come to an agreement that will benefit both parties. I followed my passion as I moved into my current career as an educator. Now, I find joy everyday challenging students to become the best version of themselves and teaching them how to overcome challenges big and small to achieve success.

While doing all of this, I have been actively involved at my daughters’ schools. I have served as secretary & president of the PTO at West Rockhill and am currently the president of the South MS parent group, SCN. I have seen how a school district operates from many angles. I strongly believe in the value of an educator on the board. I plan to use my experience, compassion, empathy and dedication to help bring Pennridge School District to the next level.
Experience IT industry leader within Fortune 500 companies. Worked in Retail. Coached Soccer and Baseball for local community teams. Currently serves on a local Swim team's board.
Education MBA - Rutgers University (Total Quality Management) BSBA - Boston University (Concentration in MIS)
Email address onepennridge@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (267) 209-3392
Twitter @onepennridge
I would like to take Pennridge School District to the next level and offer programs that benefit kids, working parents and help our seniors who are living on a low fixed Income.

Why aren't we offering full day Kindergarten for all students here at Pennridge? Currently we only offer full day Kindergarten to kids who need special services (e.g. students who speak english as a second language) . We should have it available for all. 85% of all other PA School Districts have this option already.

Seniors who are living on a low fixed income need a form of tax relief. North Penn and Neshaminy School Districts offer tax relief seniors. I am glad our current SB President listened to our position from the Primary and brought it to a vote.

I am proud to be a part of OnePennridge (Lisa Wilson, Kelley Peloquin, Alex Rajan, Kyle Esposito, and Peter Yarnell). Please vote for us on Nov 5th and help us implement our vision (https://www.onepennridge.com/vision) for the Pennridge School District
I am a proud Pennridge 12+ years resident who has served our community as a Bucks County election Poll worker for Bedminster, PA, soccer coach, baseball coach, board member/swim league rep for our local Swim team, and I volunteer a few hours every week at Last Chance Ranch (a no kill animal shelter) in Quakertown.

I am a happily married foster/adoptive/father of 2 boys who are part of the Pennridge student body.

My post-high school education and career have benefited from my early public school education. I believe my background gives me a unique understanding what our kids need to succeed no matter what they choose to do.

I have a deep understanding of budgeting, reducing operational expenses, and investing in future projects.

I would like to keep the long standing traditions and positive reputation of the Pennridge School District.

By listening, researching, and being open to different ideas, I can and will serve successfully as Pennridge School Director.
Experience My experience in Technology to the Building industries allows me to be a valuable member of the PSB. I am a Community volunteer in PennridgeLL & WRH Parks-n-Rec, as The Pres. & Chairman (respectively)
Education 12 + Technology Courses from 1995-2017.All are relative to my career as Sr. Systems Engineer.
Email address dreiss13@comcast.net
A few concerns I had were school security, opioids, and preparing students for "life after school" (getting a job, working everyday, balancing a budget to pay bills on time, and the value of good credit, to name a few). I've attended several of the meetings prior to running for the school board. I'm sure everyone knows that there are now 2 FT School Police Officers in the PSD. I'd like to think that the thorough discussion, both public and private, helped to pass the approval of the 2 SPO positions. I am a proud supporter of those positions. The opioid epidemic is rising and I believe if we can work with surrounding districts and towns we can have a better cooperative discussion to find a way to curb or eradicate the abuse. The modified vaping policies and new programs have been added to educate parents, students, faculty. I am also a current member of the Upper Bucks County Vocational JOC board. I believe I can continue to add value to this valuable resource for all the students.
I know from my personal experience in the several other community organizations that the only way to get to truly understand how something works is to be a part of the solution. I have been an active member of the PennridgeLL for 18 yrs. where I have been a coach, player agent for many divisions, and now currently the sitting President for the last 5 years. I have been a member of the West Rockhill Park and Rec. Committee for the last 11 years and now I am the current Chairman. I have also been an active member in the Upper Perk Valley Soccer Assoc.(when I lived there for 8 yrs) as Coach, Travel Coach & Player agent as well. I understand the commitment to have a non-biased, non-self serving agenda to be able to accomplish great things in all aspects of each organization I have been able to serve. . Being a homeowner for the past 27 years helps me to understand the value of tax dollars, budgeting, and the total cost of ownership.I believe in serving the community for the benefit of all.
Experience Wide range of business experience in nonprofit and for-profit organizations; education in nonprofit/private/public sectors
Education Doctor of Business Administration/ Master of Public Administration w Minor in Nonprofit Admin
Email address sherryt@landgrouplaw.com
Campaign Phone (267) 337-4198
I have been serving on the school board since being appointed last July 2018. I applied to be on the school board because I have a heart for collaboration and truly wished to bring a positive presence in consideration of the difficulties that the board and district experienced. I am very honored to be a part of the effective team that has made responsible decisions some of which include: long term teacher/staff contract, long term capital projects plan, correction of our tech-school funding formula, decreased administrative overhead, no new debt, and a balanced budget. All accomplished without a tax increase! My concern is for long term success of students and that requires us to maintain the key financial decisions that the current board has set into action. These decisions reduce our debt, leverage existing resources, provide for our staff, and promote professional development. Most importantly, long term financial planning facilitates the prioritization of education of our students.
I bring to the board a business acumen stemming from over 30 years of managerial and volunteer experiences that hale from the private and non-profit sectors. I hold a Doctorate in Business Administration with an emphasis in strategy and innovation. My doctoral studies allowed me to focus on organizational optimization by converging fiscal, community, and social responsibilities. My studies are directly relevant to what a school district must focus on: fiduciary obligations, community involvement, district wide impact, and a comprehensive focus on the whole student. I also hold a Master’s degree in Public Administration, a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Human Resources and Labor Relations, and a Bachelor of Letters, Arts and Sciences in Communication Arts and Sciences of Organizations and Industry. My wide array of experience assist me as a board member for leveraging opportunities for students within the school and community while balancing the focus of long term financial planning.
Experience My primary experience is as a parent, volunteer, lawyer and engaged citizen.
Education BS Shippensburg University JD University of Pittsburgh, School of Law
Email address onepennridge@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (267) 209-3392
Twitter @OnePennridge
I want to promote respectful conversations in our community and a win-win attitude of engagement, connection and inclusion so all members of our community are valued and grow. For this to occur, we must work together. This means finding value in all kinds of achievement, in positive and inclusive behavior and in growing potential in whatever form it may be found. This includes extending children who are academically advanced as well as extending children who have knowledge and practical skills that we do not currently measure. To this end, our teachers need to be, and feel, supported. School directors can help create a positive school environment that supports creativity, innovation, inclusion, sharing, and ideas that raise the bar. Good relationships begin and end with transparency. School directors must be open, inclusive and straightforward about their intentions and vision.
As a parent of two children in the Pennridge School District, I have volunteered at the elementary, middle and high school levels. I volunteered with parent groups, as a tutor at the elementary school, with school drama programs and with the Pennridge Aquatic Club. Prior to working at home, I worked as an attorney in a Pittsburgh law firm and clerked for two judges. As a lawyer, I represented clients before judges in state and federal courts and worked with people of various business backgrounds. My responsibilities included researching, drafting and reviewing documents such as contracts, financial documents and legal opinions. I often worked as part of a team and enjoy working with others to get results. I am running with the candidates of One Pennridge because they share my vision of respectful collaboration. Please vote for: Lisa Wilson, Kelley Peloquin, Peter Yarnell, Kyle Esposito and Alex Rajan.
Experience Pennridge School Board member 28yrs; West Rockhill Township resident 45 yrs; Research and Development chemist in industry 42 yrs.
Education BS in physical chemistry from MIT; PhD in physical chemistry from U. of California, Berkeley
Email address onepennridge@gmail.com
Campaign Phone (267) 209-3392
Twitter @OnePennridge
Originally, I ran for the School Board in 1991 due to concerns about the math curriculum when my children attended the Pennridge School system. After election, I worked to improve financials and academics at Pennridge while chairing the Curriculum Committee for >20 yrs. Despite significant progress in academics, finance, and other areas, more work is needed in implementing STEM programs, investigating full-day kindergarten, improving guidance relating to career opportunities, and strengthening Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) efforts to combat social media and peer pressures, drugs (e.g., opioids) and alcohol, bullying, suicides, safety, and academic pressures. These initiatives will require adding guidance counselors, social workers, and community resources (e.g., Penn Foundation). Engaging all segments of the Pennridge community is an important aspect of these efforts.
I have served on the Pennridge School Board for 28 yrs. During that time, I served as President of the Board for 11 years and Chairperson of Joint Operating Committee for the Upper Bucks Tech School. I chaired the Curriculum Committee for >20 yrs as well as chaired the Finance, Personnel, Intermediate Unit, UB Tech School, and Student Liaison Committees. Thus, I bring a wealth of experience and historical perspective to Board, unmatched by other candidates. I have worked collaboratively with 4 superintendents and dozens of Board members during those 28 years. Moreover, I have built and maintained positive working relationships with administrators, teachers, and other employees of the District. During my R&D industrial career, I managed personnel, created and managed budgets, participated as part of a team, excelled at written and oral communications, and worked successfully with a diverse workforce.