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State College Area Board of School Directors {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

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    Amy Bader

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    Todd L. Baney

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    Gretchen Brandt

  • Candidate picture

    Amber Concepcion

  • Candidate picture

    Daniel Duffy

  • Candidate picture

    Laurel Zydney

Biographical Information

If elected, what will be your three top priorities, and how will you address them?

Campaign Website
Date of Birth 02/03/1972
Education VMD, Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania MA, Biology, Temple University BA, Biology, Temple University
Qualifications Served on SCASD School Board 2015-present, current board member Dyslexia Reading Center of Central PA, previous board member Our Children's Center Montessori Preschool
Twitter n/a
My first priority would insuring continued focus and progress on the SCASD Strategic Plan, approved in 2017. This six-year plan incorporates a variety of key issues, including engagement and support of the whole student, growth for every student, closing opportunity and achievement gaps, and successful transitions and readiness for a purposeful life. Second, threaded throughout the strategic plan are goals regarding educational equity and inclusivity, which I strongly support. Educational equity encompasses a variety of concerns and touches nearly every child in some way. Creating equity establishes a culture and climate where all children can develop their skills and reach their potential. Last, a continued priority for me is fiscal stewardship. The district has maintained its financial health while achieving a variety of goals in the past several years, including the completion of updates to long-neglected facilities, improving security in buildings, significant curriculum updates and the implementation of a STEM and International Baccalaureate programs, all while planning for future needs.
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Date of Birth 11/05/1969
Education BS in Chemical Engineering from PSU 1993; MBA from PSU in 2015
Qualifications Spent 8 years in the Army as a Chemical Officer from 1994 to 2002, where I was spent 4 years in leadership positions to include Company Company and served 4 years in various level Operations Office were I honed my planning and organizing skills. Received an MBA in 2015 while working for a fast, growing small company.
I am running for School Board Director because of my experience and skills I have developed as an Army Officer and company executive, along with my MBA, can be an asset to the school district. I will help with the budgeting process and decision-making to provide reasonable and feasible options while providing fresh eyes. Additionally, I feel that the School Board should be apolitical. I will put aside any political differences to make sure all decisions are based on education and education only. All the incumbents running are registered in the same party. I want to insure we aren’t developing an echo chamber among our current board. As a parent of a current eight-grader, I am very interested in seeing how the school time change is impacting the district. Has attendance been impacted? Are scores up? Are grades up? If not, was it worth it for 8 minutes a day.
Date of Birth December 20, 1973
Education BA International Relations & Germanic Studies--University of Colorado, Boulder; MA Public Administration--Central Michigan University
Qualifications Masters in Public Administration; Worked for the City of Cadillac, Michigan in local government; Worked for the City of Boulder, Colorado in local government
1) The State College Area School District Board of Directors passed a policy on Inclusive Excellence and hired a Director of Equity and Inclusivity during my tenure on the Board. Following through with the policy and supporting our new director is a top priority for me. Turning the policy into action includes listening to the experiences of students in our district and responding to them by taking action in a collaborative way with the community, the board, and the administration.

2) Maintaining facilities in the district so that our students, faculty, and staff have safe and clean environments in which to learn and work. This includes ensuring that our current building projects proceed in a timely fashion and stay on budget. Additionally, we need to make sure that we give attention to our facilities master plan so that our buildings remain in good repair on a cycle in order to avoid multiple building projects occurring simultaneously in the future. This will allow us to avoid an undue financial burden on the district and taxpayers at a later date.

3) The State College Area School District is in good financial health and recently received a AAA bond rating from Moody. Only districts in superior financial health receive this highest rating, and we are proud of the fiscal responsibility we have achieved and maintained over the last 3 1/2 years. We intend to maintain this level of fiscal health in the district and give it top priority.
Date of Birth March 25, 1979
Education State College Area High School, 1997. Penn State University, Schreyer Honors College, 2001. (B.A. political science) Georgetown University, 2007. (M.A. in Government, ABD for doctorate in International Relations)
Qualifications Board President, 5 yrs. Board Vice-President, 2 years. Board member, 8 yrs. Member of Finance, Facilities, and Communications committees. Local business entrepreneur. Previously board member for Our Children's Center Montessori Preschool and the Cooperative Playschool. Parent of three children in SCASD.
Twitter @AmberConcepcion
1. Academic excellence and growth for every student. The district must provide every student with rigorous, engaging, and effective curriculum and instruction. We must continue a regular curriculum update cycle and support relevant professional development for faculty and administrators, while keeping current with educational and child development research.

2. Welcoming, safe, and inclusive schools. Our schools must support the well-being of children from diverse backgrounds and circumstances, and provide a safe and nurturing environment for all our children. I will continue advocating for effective initiatives related to school climate, equity, and caring for every child in partnership with families.

3. Financial sustainability. Careful budgeting has led to the district’s current strong financial position, and we must continue to ensure the district’s long-term financial health. We are closely monitoring major cost drivers, such as growing employee benefit costs, so that we can meet future operating budget needs, while also planning for future facility needs.
Date of Birth November 2, 1949
Education B.S. St. Joseph's College (Philadelphia) 1971; M.S Penn State University 1974; D.Ed. Penn State University 1983
Qualifications I have been a resident of the State College community since coming here for graduate school from the Philadelphia area in 1972. My children attended the State College Area schools, graduating from State High in 2003 and 2004, I worked in education as a consultant and as a school psychologist for almost 35 years before retiring in 2011. I am seeking a second term as School Director for the State College Area School District.
My priorities for service as school director address the need for a balanced approach to budgeting and programming, the critical importance of school safety and student mental health, and recognition of the key role of parents and families as partners in guiding the learning and development of our students, their children.

First, we need to strike a balance in our budget process to stay focused both on managing our long term construction debt obligations while remaining alert to the need for improvements in classroom instruction. We need to be prepared to respond when changes in programs and instruction are required to achieve our strategic goals to prepare students for lifelong learning and participation in the world’s economy.

My second priority is to support the district's efforts to provide physically safe school environments while assuring that the mental health needs of our students are fully recognized and addressed. We must continue the productive and collaborative working relationships with local police to assure student safety. It is equally necessary to develop preventative programs that support students who may be at risk for mental disorders.

My third priority is to advocate for school programs that are based upon the principle that parents know their children best and possess the power to be the most influential in their child's life. Students will be most successful and schools the most effective when there is a strong partnership between home and school.
Date of Birth 01/30/1962
Education Public Schools K-12; 1978 Skyline HS, Dallas TX; 1982 BA in History, Yale.
Qualifications Elected to SCASD Board 2011; Committee memberships: Finance, Communication, CCL (Culture, Climate, & Learning); ongoing board member education through conferences and workshops. Parent of current HS student and 2 SCASD graduates. Community involvement: WPSU Folk Show host; St. Andrew’s Church; Community Cafe; PSU Women’s Club. Previous experience (Delaware): school and state PTA officer; school and district level shared decision making and long-term planning boards.
My top priorities are proactive community engagement, transparent governance and budgeting, and comprehensive educational opportunities for all students.  Reaching out to families of current and future students, as well as to the broader community, is critical to assuring the community understands the challenges facing students and schools in our fast-changing society and to maintaining community support of public education.  The Board should proactively encourage input as the district assesses needs, evaluates and strengthens existing programs, and considers innovative educational approaches and options. The Board must also be highly transparent in establishing priorities and respectful budgets for current operations and long-term projects. With thoughtful, inclusive planning, the district can continue to provide safe and nurturing schools where every child gets a strong foundation that includes excellent academics, life skills and career preparation, and opportunities for participation and achievement in athletics, the arts, service, and leadership.