Vote signs

Races for seats on the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District board are contested in one region for the primary on May 18.

Incumbent Rick Harper is unopposed in Region I, which covers Blairsville Borough precincts 1, 2 and 3 and Burrell Township precinct 2.

Melanie Cribbs Pantalone and Nathan Baird are running to be nominated for two seats in Region III. Region III is made up of Conemaugh precincts 1 and 3, Loyalhanna Township precincts 1 and 2 and Conemaugh Township Precinct 2.

George R. Boros and Jessica Clawson are running to be the nominee in the November election for one seat in Region II, which encompasses Blacklick Township, Burrell Township Precinct 1 and Conemaugh Township Precinct 2.

Current board members Holly Hall, Holly Gibson and Linda Brown are not seeking re-election.

Issues in the district this election include a recent board vote to reconfigure the district’s schools and transport Saltsburg students in sixth through 12th grades to Blairsville, while converting Saltsburg Middle/High School to the Southern Indiana County STEAM Academy.

The academy would be open to district students beginning their sophomore year to offer a targeted career path in nine new areas, with an apprenticeship program included.

All candidates have cross-filed.

Candidates in contested regions both selected to be interviewed by email and responded to the same list of questions.

Margaret Weaver has served as a Gazette staff writer since 2006. She covers Clymer Borough, the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District and Blairsville court, and also works in the areas of layout, design and editing.