Feb. 1 Baldwin-Whitehall Special School Board Meeting Notes
Candidates for the board's two vacancies were interviewed. The vacancies will be filled at tomorrow's agenda meeting.
Six people filed paperwork in time to be considered for either of the vacancies, though one of those six did not appear for the interview – Greg Zeman. Zeman will still be considered for the vacancies, though.
Those that did appear for interviews were (in order) Sabatino DiNardo Jr., Paul Hayhurst Sr., Bryan O’Black, Laurencine Romack and Fred Vella.
DiNardo is the husband of former Baldwin-Whitehall school board member Nancy Sciulli DiNardo, whose resignation for personal reasons in September 2010 opened a place for John Palmiere to fill Sciulli DiNardo’s seat the next month.
Coincidentally, Palmiere’s departure in January 2011 has opened that seat once again. Palmiere resigned to accept Allegheny County’s District 6 council seat.
The other vacant B-W school board seat stems from the departure of John Egger, who resigned on Tuesday, Jan. 25, to focus on a new business venture.
The remaining seven members of the B-W school board – Martin Michael Schmotzer, John B. Schmotzer, Nancy Lee Crowder, Kevin A. Stiffey, Second Vice President Diana Kazour, First Vice President Kevin J. Fischer and President George L. Pry – will now select two of the six candidates to fill the seats. Fischer was the only board member not present to help interview candidates on Feb. 1, but Pry said that Fischer has the ability to review the candidates’ resumes and to speak with other board members in order to inform his decisions for Feb. 2.
Pry said that today’s board meeting, scheduled as an ordinary agenda meeting at the school-district office on Curry Road at 7:30 p.m., will begin with public comments, followed by the board accepting the resignation of Palmiere. At that point, the board will then entertain motions to appoint one of the six candidates to fill Palmiere’s seat.
A candidate must receive positive votes from a majority of the board – in this case, four – to be appointed. Board members can vote aye or nay, or abstain, on any motion.
After Palmiere’s seat is filled, the newly appointed board member will then immediately join the board and, if he or she is present, be sworn in.
The then eight-person board is next expected to accept the resignation of Egger before entertaining motions to appoint one of the remaining five candidates to fill Egger’s seat.
The second candidate to be appointed to the board that day must also receive positive votes from the majority of the board – in that case, five.
The first new board member appointed that day will have the ability to vote aye or nay, or abstain, on any motion, including the second and final appointing of another board member that day.
The second appointed board member that day, should he or she be present, will also be sworn in.
Sabatino DiNardo explained his candidacy during his interview by saying, “I believe I bring a unique perspective to the position of school-board director.
“I’ve lived in the [school] district for 21 years. I have three children – two of which went through the elementary schools of our district. Two of my daughters are educated at the [Baldwin] High School, and I’m well aware of the education that my children have received through this district.
“I believe I possess the leadership skills to be an asset and an independent thinker when it comes to making decisions. I have strong negotiation skills and experience negotiating labor-management contracts.”
Hayhurst explained his candidacy by saying, “My employment through the years has largely been through systems analysis, business analysis [and] marketing analysis, and right now, I’m a business analyst with PNC Financial Services Group.
“The reason for my application for the board is an understanding of the operations of what school boards do and trying to see myself as a sitting member of a board.
“I believe that I bring a strong work ethic to the board. I would bring a strong analytical aspect to the board to let the numbers do the talking.”
O’Black explained his candidacy by saying, “I sit in front of you not only as a resident but a proud graduate of Baldwin and a lifelong resident of Baldwin. And I also sit in front of you as a passionate educator.
“First and foremost, that’s what I am. I’m an educator of students, and I now have the opportunity to be a school administrator as well. I think that that is what leverages me very well for this board.
“Not only am I passionate about the community and the students that we educate, but I’m also passionate about the process that we go through in all school districts across the country.
“I can tell you Baldwin did very well for me.”
Romack explained her candidacy by saying, “The main reason that I am sitting here before [the board] is because the number-one priority in my life has been the children of this district for the past 10 years. My background is in education. I taught before I had children … so children have always been the focus of my life.
“I moved to this [school] district 10 years ago. I fell in love with Baldwin-Whitehall, and it has become my home now.
“For the past 10 years, you may have seen my face because I have been so involved with the parent groups here.
“I do realize the commitment that this takes, and I’m more than willing to do that. For 10 years, I have not just volunteered as a helper, but I’ve been in the position of leadership. For seven years now, I have been either a PTO [Parent-Teacher Organization] or a PTA [Parent-Teacher Association] president, and that has given me qualities of leadership and of diplomacy. And it’s also opened my eyes to a lot of the district. I have been able to see things that maybe a lot of other people wouldn’t have the opportunity to see.
“I have children at the elementary-, middle- and high-school level, so I definitely think that I have a unique perspective that I could add to this board.”
Finally, Vella explained his candidacy by saying, “My son goes to [W.R.] Paynter Elementary School, and I am on the Paynter PTA. And I am Chairman of the Science Fair committee … at Paynter Elementary currently.
“I sat on city council in Ohio for two terms. I was elected at that time, and I was able to get a lot of projects done in Ohio. As a city councilperson, I was able to get money to open up a new water plant for [his] city. I was able to get a lot of federal money for other projects throughout the city … and I was on the Jefferson County regional planning commission also at the time.
“I also served as an appointee to a school board [in Florida] as a member of the boundary committee.
“Now, I live here, and I’d like to take an active part in the local area of Baldwin-Whitehall.”
The meeting adjourned at 7:29 p.m.