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Starting Out: A Seat on the School Board

Jan 21, 2021 • 8:00 am - 9:00 am

What it Takes to be Elected and Fulfill the Responsibilities

During this session, which will be held virtually on the Zoom platform, PSBA will cover the core considerations for candidates that are contemplating running for school board. Attendees will gain a greater understanding of this governmental position to better evaluate if they want to pursue this elected role. Topics covered will include the basic school director roles and responsibilities, along with what to expect if elected, coming firsthand from experienced school directors. The panel discussion will address the nuances and procedural steps of getting on the ballot.

All are welcome to attend.


Kathy Swope, Retired School Director, Past PSBA President, Educator-in-Residence
Kathy Swope is a self-employed education and governance consultant with over 20 years of experience as a school director in Lewisburg Area School District, with 12 of those years served as president. Swope is also a past president of PSBA. She was elected to PSBA's governing board in various capacities for eleven years by school boards across Pennsylvania. She has served as chair of the PSBA Insurance Trust Board, as a PA Public Education Foundation Trustee, on the United Way Early Investment Committee of the Susquehanna River Valley (chair of Champions of Education Initiative), and as VP of the Union County Historical Society. Swope holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Susquehanna University.


Roberta M. Marcus, Retired School Director, Past PSBA President, Consultant-in-Residence
Roberta M. Marcus serves as the consultant-in-residence for PSBA. As a past president and the former co-chair of the Principles for Effective Governance and Leadership Committee, she contributes her experience, training and knowledge on board directors’ roles and responsibilities. Her accreditations include PSBA’s Chief Executive Officer’s Distinguished Service Pin, Accredited School Director Leader (Retired) and the Allwein Advocacy Award. She was awarded the Parkland School District Superintendent’s Parkland Pride Award. Marcus served 20 years as an elected school board director for the Parkland School District, where she served multiple times as president, vice president, chair of several committees and liaison to the Community Advisory Council.


Stuart Knade, PSBA Senior Director of Legal Services
PSBA Senior Director of Legal Services Stuart L. Knade, Esq., leads the association’s legal team and oversees judicial advocacy, member legal information and other legal services. He has worked with the association since 1998. Knade is an experienced public school solicitor, defense litigator and appellate advocate. He has represented public school entities and their officials in numerous state and federal lawsuits involving a wide variety of civil rights, employment, contract, local taxation and other school governance issues.


Dr. Jeff Finch (Grove City School District), Superintendent
Dr. Jeff Finch has worked in public education in Pennsylvania for the past 27 years. As a technology education graduate of California University of Pennsylvania, he began his career as a technology education teacher in the Seneca Valley School District. After completing his master's degree in school leadership from Carlow University, he served as a high school principal for 15 years and assistant superintendent for two years in the Hampton Township School District. He has served in his current position at Grove City Area School District since January of 2016.


Sarah Heres (Quaker Valley School District), School Director
Appointed to the Quaker Valley School Board in October 2007, Sarah Heres is entering her fourteenth year serving her community as a school board member. In December, she passed the board president position off after serving in that role for seven years. As board president she oversaw two superintendent searches and navigated the board's decision to pursue a new high school project beginning with land acquisition.


Ron Cole (Sayre Area School District), School Director
Ron Cole has been a school board member in the Sayre Area School District for ten years. He is the current board vice president, chairman of the Community Relations Committee and a PSBA liaison. He also serves as the PSBA Section 3 Advisor and is a board member for the Northern Tier Career Center. Ron holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and an associate degree in broadcasting from York College of Pennsylvania. During his four decades as a broadcaster, he spent almost 30 years in the Guthrie Health System’s education department.

Cost: Free registration is required so that we can send you a Zoom link to join.

Registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_p1Gm1tG1SpSETSsZwSrC9w


Jan 21, 2021
8:00 am - 9:00 am
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