I know some of the candidates for the Indiana school board very well, and for consideration by voters, I offer my insight.
I would strongly support the following candidates: Julia Trimarchi Cucaro and John Barbor. Both are highly respected attorneys with deep roots in the community. In particular, Julia is very fair-minded and would place residents and students as her top priorities while John is a strong supporter of the arts and would preserve them as an essential part of curriculum.
I would strongly oppose Walter Schroth as a candidate. Despite the fact that he comes across as a jovial “Uncle Walter,” he is anything but. Mr. Schroth is a smooth operator who finds the means to get his way, even if the rules must be bent or even broken. For example, he is currently engaged in behavior that is legally questionable under the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act by conducting closed board meetings to discuss security issues.
I would also strongly oppose former superintendent Deborah Clawson as a board candidate. Ms. Clawson is a believer in the “imperial superintendent” concept, where the superintendent rules the district and the board is merely a ceremonial sounding board that should stay out of the way and the district residents are viewed as merely a nuisance.
Also, like Mr. Schroth, Ms. Clawson is very shrewd and isn’t terribly concerned about following the rules. While I was on the board, I pointed out to her, not infrequently, that she was not doing certain things required of her by policy, procedure or state law and her reaction was to be angry with me for doing so.
The final candidate I would strongly oppose is Doug Steve. Mr. Steve was on the preceding Indiana school board and residents know him well and know what they would get by electing him: a person whose sole interest is athletics and who has no interest in what the residents of the district think about his agenda. His philosophy and candidacy can be summed up in two words: “artificial turf.”