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Starting Out: A Seat on the School Board

Jan 25, 2021 • 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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.


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.


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.


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.


David E. Christopher, EdD (Cumberland Valley School District), Superintendent
Dr. David E. Christopher has been a Pennsylvania educator for the past 25 years. He has served as an elementary teacher, elementary principal and secondary principal. Since 2012 he has served as the superintendent or deputy superintendent in three school districts including both rural and large suburban settings. He has been the superintendent of the Cumberland Valley School District, one of Pennsylvania’s largest districts, since 2019.


Barbara Bolas (Upper St. Clair School District), School Director
Barbara Bolas, a 33-year member of the Upper St. Clair (USC) Board of School Directors, has devoted most of her adult life to education and public service. Bolas has served several terms as USC board president and a term as president of the Pennsylvania School District Liquid Asset Fund (PSDLAF). She continues as a trustee of the fund. In addition, she serves on the American Public Education Foundation. Bolas has also served in positions as a public education advocate at both the state and national levels, including president of PSBA and NSBA. Bolas is the recipient of the PSBA and NSBA Distinguished Service Award. Furthermore, she served on the PA Keystone Commission on Education for Employment in the 21St Century focusing on career and technical readiness. Her volunteer experience includes past president of the PSBA Insurance Trust and School Boards Insurance Company, Ltd. 


Julie Haywood (Cheltenham School District), School Director
Julie Haywood is a 22 year resident of Cheltenham and a practicing attorney with over thirty years of experience in the healthcare industry. She is serving her third term on the school board, just ending her third year as board president, having served previously as vice president in 2014 and 2015. Currently, Haywood is co-chair of the Policy Committee and Board Liaison to the Montgomery County School Board Legislative Committee. Before joining the school board, Haywood was an active member of the community, having served as past co-president of the Cheltenham School District Foundation, Steering Committee of the Cheltenham African American Alliance (CAAA) and co-president of the Cheltenham High School PTO. She remains committed to educational excellence, inclusion and equity for all students. Haywood and her husband, Senator Art Haywood, have three children, all of whom are Cheltenham High School and college graduates. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a law degree from UCLA School of Law.

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

Registration: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_sw0RVF7LTySh0fV4hB92tg


Jan 25, 2021
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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