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Quakertown Community School District School Director Region 2 (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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  • Candidate picture

    Dell James
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Jonathan Kern
    (Rep)

  • Candidate picture

    Chris Spear
    (Dem, Rep)

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?

Education DeSales University
Email address djamesqcsd19@gmail.com
School closings and perpetual tax increases are the biggest issues facing our school district and community. Closing schools allow the school board to reduce the number of teachers. Fewer teachers, saves money, but increases the number of students in each class, and reduces the time each teacher can spend with each student. Our students should have more time with the teacher, not less. I would address this by being a school director all year, not just on the day the budget is voted on. In other words, doing the job I hope to be elected to do. Prioritize spending on our kid’s educational needs, everything else should be secondary. We must concentrate our resources on what is needed to better the student’s educations and do all that we can to stop the year after year tax increases which puts a strain on everyone in our community.
As a parent and a member of the community, I bring a determination to make our schools the very best that they can be through diligence and hard work. I believe that we owe it to the kids to give them a safe, stable and focused educational system that will prepare them to be productive citizens. I believe that we owe it to parents and grandparents to assure them that our schools are focused on the children and their needs. We owe it to the tax paying citizens that we do not waste one cent of their hard earned money.
Experience ~15 years DoD experience. Founded and have run numerous software/consulting companies, including one we built up to >400 employees before selling it. Thought leader in Agile Software development.
Education BS Aeronautical Engineering, The Ohio State University
Email address jonkernpa@gmail.com
Twitter @jonkernpa
I am the son of educators and a parent of three QHS graduates. After serving 4 years on the Board and learning about the tangled web of the education system, I am motivated to continue to foster an environment in the district to improve the ability for teachers to have an impact and to strive for making education cost-effective.

With my engineering background, I bring a sense of holistic/systems thinking and analysis to the Board. (And a sense of humor at times.) I also attempt to bring straight talk to bridge the gap between educator/admin-speak and the taxpayer/parents.

There are a lot of misinformation and "experts" on the outside of the board with "all of the answers." For my first term, I ran on a hopeful & humble platform. This term, I am running again without all of the answers. I pledge to do my best to represent all of the taxpayers by applying my smarts, energies, and talents to serve the district.
Clever campaign slogans do not solve the real issues this Board faces.

Being a current board member has taught me more than I wanted to know about our school system and all of the governmental entanglements and, in some sense, constraints. Employees + benefits are the biggest costs (85% of budget). For example, our enrollments have been declining by ~100 kids per year. The best way to reduce staff size was through school closings -- yet we avoided layoffs. We permanently removed millions from the budget. Win-Win! (Without closing schools, we would have had to keep the staff size the same.)

Having built and run companies, working with culturally-diverse teams for decades, I am able to provide the leadership, tools, and experience to perform in a capacity where influence beats out organizational (command and control) power.

However, the biggest qualification is the ability to listen and reason and articulate about the myriad of circumstances that a Board faces throughout the year.
Experience I have been a manager/operations director for over 20 years
Education QCSD Class of 1993
Email address chrisqcsd@gmail.com
Twitter @ChrisSpear18
Class Sizes mostly. With the recent closings of Tohickon Valley Elementary and Milford Middle Schools the schools, mostly at the elementary level are overcrowded. The consolidation of the middle schools created major disciplinary problems at the middle school level. The savings that were supposed to be made by closing Milford are being eaten up by the extra busing fees, newly added assistant principle, and school resource officer at Strayer Middle School. The district is still operating 2 schools to educate the 6,7 and 8th graders so why use this new reconfigured formula? The district is not spending the tax payers' money wisely. The renovation and addition at Neidig Elementary school is scheduled to cost around 30-million- dollars and only add 150-200 desks. For that much money we could have renovated 3 schools completely, or for $5 million dollars more build a new state of the art 600 seat elementary school on the land the district owns on Pumping Station road.
I have attended almost every board meeting for over two years. I manage and operate a small business with 18 employees. As part of my business I have been involved with large commercial construction projects, so I will be able to help oversee the construction project at Neidig. I want to bring more community input into the decisions that the board makes. I will work hard to improve the relationship between the teachers, administration and board. I want to insure their voices are heard. If a new curriculum is introduced, I wouldn't want to vote for it until I heard from teachers that will be implementing it. I will strive to achieve more transparency between the administration, board and community. I will bring better, clearer communication through new and more user-friendly vehicles to the community. I will pay attention to the largest and smallest of details to ensure the district is spending its money wisely, I am passionate about this and will be an excellent School Director.