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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Stroudsburg Area School District Board of Directors {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

4 year term.Vote for no more than five.

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  • Candidate picture

    Meghan Brenneman
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Merlyn Clarke
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Patricia M DeCandia
    (Dem)

  • Candidate picture

    Joseline Kraemer
    (Dem)

  • Judith A Magann
    (Dem)

Biographical Information

What do you see as the biggest issue facing your school district and how would you recommend addressing it?

Campaign Phone (570) 856-1761
Campaign email meghanwilsonbrenneman@gmail.com
Education 2009 Ed.D., Higher Education Management, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) 2004 M.S., Reading, Writing, Literacy, University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA) 2001 B.S. Elementary Education, East Stroudsburg University (East Stroudsburg, PA) 2001 B.S. Special Education, East Stroudsburg University (East Stroudsburg, PA)
Current Occupation Director of Character Assessment Programs
Qualifications for Office I understand the importance of making reasoned, informed decisions that consider both short term and long term outcomes. My ability to listen, sense of fairness, and communication skills will help me serve the Board and community well. I am currently on the Board of Directors at Mekeel Child Care Center where my two oldest children currently attend. In my time on the Board, we have made decisions impacting teacher salary, health benefits, inclement weather policies, programming, and tuition. I have extensive experience in managing and securing educational grants and balancing million dollar budgets. After graduating from Penn, I spent the first two years of my professional career managing a US Department of Education $18 million “Race to the Top” Grant across the state of Tennessee. For this project, I worked with middle-schools and colleges and universities to address the achievement gap in mathematics for African American and Latino students. After that project, I had the opportunity to work on a series of $5 million grants funded by the US Department of Defense on assessing cross-cultural competence in soldiers. I worked closely with the Army Research Institute and visited several army bases to speak with soldiers on their experiences in combat and noncombat situations. I have considerable experience in educational research. For the last 10 years of my professional career, I worked in educational research to understand how to assess social-emotional learning in children and adults. I have authored and coauthored numerous articles, technical reports and book chapters on relevant educational topics. I have over 50 professional presentations to a wide variety of audiences including educational researchers, higher-education faculty, enrollment-management professionals, school administrators, teachers, parents, and students.
One of the largest issues is developing an assurance of trust between the board and the community parents, students and teachers. One way to establish trust is to increase the transparency and rationale for how decisions are made. A school board member’s role is to ensure that the district is responsive to the values, beliefs, and priorities of the community. Whereas everyone will not always agree with the decisions I make, I will always provide a sound rationale for those decisions. I also want teachers, parents, students and community members to feel the board is approachable and receptive to input. Just as our schools need to be safe communities for students to learn, the board meetings need to be a safe venue for concerned citizens to be heard.
Campaign Phone (570) 994-6025
Campaign email merlynj5@gmail.com
Education 1958-1960; 1963-65,-Utah State University, BA 1960-1963, resided in Finland; 1965-1970, Penn State University, MA and ABD
Current Occupation Retired
Qualifications for Office I was a member of ESU’s political science department for 35 years, retiring in 2005. Since retirement, I have served on the school board for seven years. During this time, I have also served as a member of the Joint Operating Committee of the Monroe County Career and Technical Institute and as a member of the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 board. This is an educational service organization that serves school districts throughout the IU 20 region in northeastern PA, providing special ed services as well as resources for staff development. I have also served as the SASD legislative liaison to the Pennsylvania School Board Association. During my time on the board, I have chaired the SASD Curriculum Committee. Our work has resulted in significant improvements to our Program of Study document as well as important additions to our curriculum, the introduction of hybrid classrooms, and continued integration of technology into our classrooms. Beyond my school district work, I served eight years on the Monroe County Planning Commission. I was a member of the Monroe County 2020 Update Taskforce. I served several years on ESU’s Economic Summit planning committee. Most recently, I served as a member of the Monroe County Community Services Board. I am currently a member of the executive committee of the newly formed Monroe County Pathways Partnership, an initiative that will greatly facilitate bringing educators and employers into a cooperative relationship. Finally, for the last ten or so years, I have been a volunteer teacher with The Older Adult Learning Center, an organization that offers courses primarily to retirees. My courses deal with challenges facing our political, social and economic system, including challenges facing American education. My five children and one step-daughter all attended and graduated from SASD.
The preservation of our public schools is one of the existential challenges of our time. I would suggest the school district has challenges at two levels. 1. Educationally, we must provide a curriculum that focuses on the needs of students of all aptitudes, interests and passions, including those whose abilities may not be revealed by standardized tests, or in required or heavily weighted courses? We must encourage and advise students in the direction of appropriate post-secondary training and/or careers. We must instill the professional skills that all employees, citizens and heads of families require: the ability to communicate, collaborate, and to think critically and creatively. 2. In order to protect taxpayers, we must advocate for ending the charter school tuition mandate that costs local taxpayers millions of dollars every year, insist that the state’s Fair Funding Formula be applied to all education dollars, and limit the enormous costs of administering standardized exams.
Campaign email pmdSASD@ptd.net
Education Montclair State University, B.A. Early Childhood Education; Florida Institute of Technology, M.S. Business Management
Current Occupation Wife, Mother, Volunteer, and Committee Member
Qualifications for Office I have a proven ability to work in teams both as a former teacher and six sigma green belt lead. My years of experience as a comptroller and program analyst for the US Government has enabled me to successfully manage programs, estimate costs and provide budget analysis. Moreover, being actively involved in our schools as a volunteer and committee member, has allowed me to become familiar with our district policies, curriculum and assessment process. I regularly attend board meetings and solidly know the issues facing our students, teachers and community.
Every child will grow into adulthood and hold a place in society. Deciding on a trade or college bound track is often a challenging decision. An issue facing schools is how to best prepare students to find the most appropriate fit for their underlying abilities and interests so that they are college or career ready upon graduation. We must provide students with the tools to problem solve and determine their own path.

It is essential to have a partnership and collaboration between students, families, teachers, businesses and colleges. Monroe County Pathways Coalition is a model that holds unmeasurable benefit to our children. Its framework enables students to be educated at an earlier age and familiarized with career choices. Further, interconnected courses allow teachers to assist students in developing an individual plan that matches a young person’s aspirations. My actions will be unwavering to ensure the best results for all our children in a dynamic and ever changing world.
Campaign Phone (570) 856-1149
Campaign email JoselinKraemer@gmail.com
Education BS Psychology; MS Higher Education Administration
Current Occupation Director of Institutional Research at East Stroudsburg University
Qualifications for Office I am most qualified to serve on the Stroudsburg School Board. I have ten years of experience in higher education in the areas of student enrollment, financial aid, scheduling, as well as data management. I also have 15 years of experience in administrative duties in the private sector, which included personnel scheduling, budget planning, customer service, employee relations, employee’s reviews, discipline, promotions and training. I have supervised and coordinated large groups of 52 hourly employees and other administrative staff and workgroups. These experiences have provided the skills and knowledge that are relevant to the mission of the school district and the board. I believe we can work on the same goal of leading our students to academic success. I am a mother of four, two of whom are successful graduates of SASD and two of whom are still enrolled there. I believe a healthy school district enriches community, and that our top priority should be giving students everything they need to create a successful future.
Our children will become the leaders, active citizens, and visionaries who will solve the tough challenges we face today and we must prepare them by giving them the best possible foundation. We need to increase communication between teachers, administrators, students, and parents. I pledge to create clear lines of communication by developing unique and effective lines of communication between all stakeholders that will enrich student success. Establish and develop measures on the effectiveness of leaders in the schools. Develop a plan to expand parental involvement in student education, the schools and the board in order to increase awareness of student needs to prepare for their future. Include students in a focus group to determine how communication can best serve their needs. Communicate and provide the tools students need as they prepare to move into higher education, vocational training or directly into the work force, before they even begin their junior year.
Education Doctorate of Dental Medicine from Temple University Dental School, Associate Degree in Dental Hygiene from NCC, Attended Penn State University
Current Occupation Dentist
Qualifications for Office Have served for 12 years on Stroudsburg School Board. Served on community boards: United Way, Monroe County Children and Youth, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association. Monroe County Dental Society member for 31 years and treasurer.
The biggest issue is and has been the unfunded mandates. Paying for cyber / charter schools is unregulated and not subject to school district standards or oversight. We provide our own cyber school which is approximately costing the district $3,000.00 per student. PRIVATE FOR PROFIT cyber schools can charge up to $25,000.00 to the district PER STUDENT. Ask or I would say demand of your legislators they pass a law requiring students attend their home school cyber school. Insist that your tax dollars be spent wisely. Outside choices for schools whether cyber or performance art and music schools are costing our district to lose over 3.2 million dollars annually. These are private for profit business and this is an individual choice to send your kids there, they should be treated like a private education and not be on the back of the taxpayer. Put 3.2 million back in our district yearly and increased taxes are highly unlikely!