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PA Primary 2013: Candidates for Chartiers Valley School Board

The Pennsylvania primary is May 21.

Several newcomers will appear on the primary election ballot for Chartiers Valley School Director, and all candidates have cross-filed as both Republican and Democrat.

The Pennsylvania primary will be held on May 21.

The following candidates are vying for four seats, each with a four-year term:

  • Anthony J. Mazzarini Jr.
  • Julie S. Murphy
  • Eric M. Kraemer
  • Alka A. Patel
  • Jeff Choura
  • Debra Rice

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same old story May 10, 2013 at 07:40 PM
SO TRUE. STOP ACCEPTING THE MEDIOCRE RESULTS THAT HAVE BEEN CHAR VAL FOR EVER. WE NEED NEW BLOOD. NOT THE RECYCLED BOARD MEMBERS THAT HAVE BEEN CV FOR YEARS. ONLY A FEW STUCK OUT FOR THINKING ON THEIR OWN.
Concerned Parent/Citizen May 10, 2013 at 09:06 PM
I am NOT calling out Mrs. Rice, CVTforAE seems to be using something that Mrs. Rice said at the Forum to give the impression that every Board member prior to 2011 all voted in lock step which should not be done. My point is that Mrs. Rice should be the one to explain what she was saying. There were a few Board members who were there to be a positive force for the School District and all residents of the District. The Board has four members who were endorsed by the Task Force and still the District is not making the progress that everyone is aware needs to be made. I agree that Mr. Choura has NO business being elected back to the Board and should have NEVER served so many terms especially with his history! The residents need to wake, do their homework and hold those they elect accountable!!!
same old story May 11, 2013 at 04:09 PM
AT WHAT POINT DID THE CV SCHOOL DISTRICT TURN INTO A MESS?
Concerned Parent/Citizen May 11, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Around 2001.
same old story May 11, 2013 at 06:06 PM
PLEASE NAME NAMES AND THE ISSUES THAT CAUSED IT
Char Valley Citizen May 13, 2013 at 02:21 PM
Concerned Parent/Citizen, Your comments seem to support change and holding our leaders accountable. We are in agreement. What I am confused by is your concerns about the CVTforAE. I have just learned about this group as two of them knocked on my door talking about the school board election. What is your concerns with this group? I am interested in learning more
Concerned Parent/Citizen May 13, 2013 at 03:01 PM
My only concern is that CVTforAE will have the majority of Board members that they have endorsed and even though they are 400 members, they do NOT represent all of the District. Do some research into the "endorsement" of candidates from the last Board of Directors election. We are at a place right now where the party affiliations of our country no longer represent the citizens, and we here in the CV District are going to put our full faith into ONE group to say who is best to represent us for our most valuable asset, our children and their future! We all know that not EVERY resident will do their research into each and every candidate, they will listen to rumors, chatter and look to those who they feel "know better" to base their votes. Those Directors who were endorsed by CVTforAE and voted on to the Board have had four years and truly our District is only a little better. I applaud the principle that CVTforAE may have started their work; however, I do not agree that one group represents the entire District. I know for a fact that CVSD needs to change their Special Education/Special Needs representation for their students and their families. We as a community need to become more aware of what our School District is doing on an individual basis - we pay taxes but we don't watch what the process and outcome produce with those taxes. I guess what I am trying to say is, we should hold leaders and representing groups accountable as well.
same old story May 13, 2013 at 04:10 PM
NAME NAMES. WHO IS OR HAS NOT BEEN ACCOUNTABLE?
Denise May 13, 2013 at 07:50 PM
Chartiers Valley is a mess. We have let go of traditional special education placements and have students lumped together in underperforming classes. In reality, the students who have involved parents push their kids into honors track classes to avoid the lower level classes which are horrifically behaved. Their behavior is so poor that it is difficult for teachers to teach and for interested students to learn. Kids wander the halls at will. There is no cell phone policy, not one with teeth, so kids are on their phones at all hours of the day during class. Our computers in many classes are used to show films, some ridiculously inappropriate for school, including "V for Vendetta." When children are disciplined, their parents back their kids in force, making it hard for discipline to actually stick.
Concerned Parent/Citizen May 13, 2013 at 08:07 PM
Marie is correct. Not all special needs students qualify for special education and they pay a price for that. Some special needs students are only in need of modifications that help that individual student and should not bear any burden to another student. We need to go back to the 'neighborhood' schools instead of herding all students into one building, we are able to know our neighbors, our teachers and the students!
Char Valley Citizen May 13, 2013 at 08:32 PM
Thanks for info. What do the candidates running for school board need to do to get the CVTforAE's endorsement. Is there something that they are required to do? Specific to taxes, have we learned about what our taxes will be after the re-assessment. How will we know if the new taxes are right.
Char Valley Citizen May 13, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Marie I am a believer in CV as I have lived here a long time. I also believe we can make things better if we have the right leaders. Superintendent, principles, teachers and yes - parent involvement. We need the Superintendent to inspire the principals to do more, we need the principals to inspire the teachers to do different, we need the teachers to expect more from the students, and we need the parents to put more focus on their children's academics than their sports and other extra curricular activities. Char Valley can do better!!!!
Higher Expectations May 14, 2013 at 12:03 AM
I understand your concerns about the Task Force, but I wanted to make a few points. First, a correction....the previous group of Task Force endorsed candidates have only been on the board for 2 years, not 4. Based on the culture they inherited, I hardly hold them accountable for the problems they inherited. Reform is a process, not a product. Positive changes have occurred, (better accounting of finances, hiring an independent solicitor, and hiring a dynamic superintendent are foremost), but measurable improvements at the student test score level will take years. I don't mean that to sound like a sales pitch. I am not a 'member' of the Task Force, though I have had conversations with folks who are deeply involved. (And if you haven't, why not?) Based on those conversations and the evidence at hand, I have no doubt that their sole motivation is to improve the academic environment for ALL students in the district by endorsing the most qualified individuals for the school board. Still, this election should not be about the Task Force or the party affiliation of candidates from elections past. This election is about the skills the 6 people on the ballot THIS YEAR can bring to the board. Only the 4 endorsed candidates have consistently put themselves out there explaining their credentials and beliefs and listening to the community. Makes you wonder why the other 2 candidates DON'T put their qualifications out there. Tenure is not a skill!
CVTforAE May 15, 2013 at 06:16 AM
This candid and challenging discussion about academics is exactly what we set out to accomplish. We didn't set out to tell anyone who to vote for. Rather we set out elevate the discussion, share data and provide options. Governing a $50 million organization today requires skills and experience. To get our endorsement, candidates had to commit to 3 things: 1) raise the bar on expectations without raising taxes 2) respect the role of school board member and stay out of operating the district and 3) be an independent and transparent board member. Voters have a right to understand the decisions made by the board. Specific to the question on special Ed, Sandy Zeleznik is a taskforce endorsed board member and an expert in this field. She is a State of PA Dept. of Ed advisor on Special Education. She is one of 4 school board members endorsed 2 years ago. Each of those 4 brought specific skills to the district. Now, our current slate of 4 are experts in law, human resources, business management and finance. We believe the addition of these skills to our board will complement the skills of those already there. We give the endorsement of candidates a great deal of consideration. On May 21st, the choice is about which candidates are engaged in the dialog and committed to the 3 principles above and which are not. Voters now have the info to make an informed choice. Our future is appropriately up to us.
Concerned Parent/Citizen May 15, 2013 at 01:23 PM
I suggest the candidates do their homework on Common Core BEFORE the Primary. The PA Dept of Ed Secretary resigned because of the push back he is receiving from the concerned citizens of Pennsylvania. As far as Special Education/Special Needs experts are the problem at CV, the parental voice NEEDS to be inserted. The only "expert" that can relate is a parent of a special needs child.
same old story May 15, 2013 at 03:45 PM
PLEASE NAME NAMES. WHO ARE THE PROBLEMS IN THE SPECIAL ED DEPARTMENT? GENERAL SHOTS ARE FUN BUT DO NOT GIVE INSIGHT FOR CHANGE.
Concerned Parent/Citizen May 15, 2013 at 04:06 PM
There is not ONE person or a specific group of people - it is the entire process in CV that is the problem. Parents should not be made to feel as though they do not know their own child, that IS what happens for a LOT of families with special needs students in the District. There have been some exceptional people at CV who are in the Special Education Department that helped students and their families because special needs does NOT affect the child alone, it affects the entire family in many ways; however, those exceptional people have an uphill fight.
same old story May 15, 2013 at 04:58 PM
I UNDERSTAND THE PROCESS ISSUE. WHO HIRED THESE FOLKS THAT DO NOT HAVE THE UNDERSTANDING ON HOW TO DEAL WITH THESE SPECIAL CHILDREN AND THEIR SUPPORT SYSTEMS.? BLAMING THE PROCESS IS A NICE WAY OF AVOIDING CORRECTING ISSUES AND OR MAKING CHANGES.
Concerned Parent/Citizen May 15, 2013 at 07:00 PM
You have to remember that Administration, Staff and even School Board Directors are confined to working within both the federal and state Department of Education so we also have to keep in mind that they are caught between taxpayers and government intrusion, so it really is hard to narrow down to just the District policy. Most Special Education Departments have to hire "experts" who may have the intellectual expertise but not the hands-on expertise that parenting a special needs child gives you. By the way, Special Education should be renamed Special Needs because not all special needs students require "special education" but do need special modifications to assist them in their studies.
same old story May 15, 2013 at 07:37 PM
EXCELLENT ANSWER. THIS SEEMS TO BE THE ALIBI THAT ALL GOVT RUN FUNCTIONS USE. I WISH WE NEW WHO AND OR WHAT WAS WRONG. TIM MCCONNEL IS NOT THE PROBLEM FOR EVERY CHARTERS VALLEY ISSUE
Concerned Parent/Citizen May 15, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Tim McConnell is old news. No one has mentioned that name during this entire discussion. Seems some one has issues to let go of. The point of this discussion is to show that most of the voters in the District don't put enough background homework into the candidates running in primary elections let alone general elections--THAT IS OUR PROBLEM.
Denise May 15, 2013 at 08:45 PM
It's not the special ed teachers, they have nothing to do with scheduling. In fact, many districts are dealing with behavior issues similar to ours. Parents need to quit defending every thing their child does and accept consequences for poor behavior. Students that are consistent disruptions need to be removed from the classroom entirely. We have laptops for every high school student. Use the technology that we have, place poorly behaved students in online learning situations and get them out of our schools. Start to inconvenience the parents of these kids and let those interest in learning do so.
Denise May 15, 2013 at 08:46 PM
I agree, concerned parent. By the time many of these kids reach middle/high school, they have nearly given up. It is sad.
same old story May 15, 2013 at 09:57 PM
TIM SEEMED TO BE THE PROBLEM FOR ALONG TIME.
CV Taxpayer May 20, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Tomorrow I'll be voting for the taskforce endorsed candidates! Nobody and I mean nobody can be satisfied with CV's PSSAS and SATS! Change in this district is well overdo!!!!
Curious May 21, 2013 at 03:21 PM
I will be voting for taskforce endorsed candidates as well! It's time for a change! My daughter and future children are at risk for obtaining a poor education. I will NOT allow that to happen! Make the change!!!
Concerned Parent May 21, 2013 at 04:56 PM
Absolutely!!!!! As a teacher in a neighboring district, I am appalled at the amount of time that is spent "teaching to the test" in this district. My children have learned very little in the 9 weeks leading up to the PSSA's other than learning to take the test!! I would love to hear the candidates speak about what, exactly, they are proposing to do to promote academic excellence. Would it be to increase the amount of time spent "teaching to the test" or to actually allow teachers to teach?
Charles Addleman May 22, 2013 at 01:02 AM
What has Stevenson, Huntoon, Zeleznik and Kearney done to improve our schools?
ALbert E. Heiles, Jr May 22, 2013 at 03:13 PM
Tony Mazzarini will be a wise and honorable leader. He will work hard and serve without personal gain. AEH
same old story May 22, 2013 at 10:36 PM
CHARLIE, WHAT DID JEFF DO FOR THE DISTRICT?

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