The York City School Board has gone through considerable turnover in the last year, considering there wasn't even a school board election.

Two resignations and one vacated seat meant three new board members.

Now, heading into an election year, the school board will have five seats up for grabs, with incumbent board members varying on whether they will seek re-election. The seats, which are not paid positions, include four four-year seats and one two-year seat.

Leader seeking return: Board president Margie Orr said she has made up her mind to pursue re-election for a four-year seat. Orr's peers gave her a second year as board president in December and she said she has unfinished business.

"I want to try to complete what I started with the board," Orr said.

Other board members whose seats are up include Sandie Walker, Diane Brown, Aaron Willford Jr. and Jose Santiago.

Brown's seat would be for two years. She was appointed for one year by the board late last year after Gregg Nelson resigned just a year into his four-year term. The remaining two years of Nelson's term are up for election.

Brown said she is undecided about running, as she is weighing the time commitment and her job.

"My heart is with the kids here in York," Brown said.

Willford is also unsure whether to run. Willford is on his second go-round with the board, but has never had to be elected.


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In 2010, he was appointed for a one-year term to replace board member Tom Foust, who died from cancer. Last fall, the minister was appointed again, this time to take the seat of Gary Calhoun, who resigned. Willford would be seeking a four-year seat.

Recovery plan: The status of the school district's state-appointed financial recovery program, which could dramatically affect how the district runs, is a factor, Willford said. A financial recovery committee and a chief recovery officer are coming up with a plan to help improve the district's finances; the school board will have to approve a plan or face further state intervention.

"I'm looking at which direction the school district is going in regards to this recovery," Willford said.

Willford said he thinks the district already was going in the right direction, and that he would not be comfortable being elected by city residents and then having to cede power to the state.

"One thing I am not is a rubber stamp," he said.

Sandie Walker, the leading vote-getter four years ago in securing her first term, said she is not seeking re-election; Walker did not elaborate as to her reason.

Santiago, who was selected by the board to serve after the board vacated Beverly Atwater's seat, said he plans to run. Both are four-year seats.

- Reach Andrew Shaw at ashaw@yorkdispatch.com