STAFF REPORT

Only two candidates filed to run for four school board seats in Hanover in the primary election.

But those two candidates have since been joined by four new candidates, turning an uncontested race into a contested one.

Seeking the four-year seats on the board are holdover candidates Karen Daubert, a Republican, and Jared Reck, who cross-filed.

Write-in candidates who made the ballot include Democrat Tim Williams and cross-filed candidates Brian Frederick and Maria Shea. Also running is Green Party candidate Charles Michael Farley.

A two-year partial term is also on the ballot. Richard Engle is the only candidate seeking that post.

Biographical information:

Karen Daubert (R)

No response

Charles Michael Farley (G)

No response

Brian Frederick (D/R)

Age and address: 50, of Fox Knoll Court, Hanover

Family: Daughter Allison age 23, Son Matthew age 19, Daughter Haley age 17

Occupation: Engineering Project Manager at General Dynamics Robotic Systems in Westminster, Md.

Education: BS Computer Engineering, Lehigh University, 1985; MS Computer Science, New Jersey Institute of Technology, 1989

Community organizations with which you are active: Hanover Athletic Booster Club (President), Parents Association Supporting Theatre Arts (President), Emmanuel UCC Consistory (Vice President), Hanover Area UCC Youth Group (Co-coordinator).

Jared Reck (D/R)

Age and address: 32, of North Franklin Street, Hanover

Family: Wife - Dawn; Daughters - Madison and Mabel

Occupation: 8th Grade Language Arts Teacher, Spring Grove Area Middle School

Education: BA - English, Clemson University; MEd - Educational Leadership & Policy, Shippensburg University

Community organizations with which you are active: Hanover IMPC (Instrumental Music Parents Club); Hanover PASTA (Parents Association Supporting Theater Arts)

Maria Shea (D/R)

Age and address: 45, of East Hanover Street

Family: Husband and daughter, an 8th grader

Occupation: Freelance writer

Education: Bachelor's degree from Millersville University

Community organizations with which you are active: Parents Association Supporting Theatre Arts; Middle School PTO; Girl Scouts; and the Hanover Chamber of Commerce's Saturdays on Main Street committee

Tim F. Williams (D)

Age and address: 53, of Hanover

Family: Wife, Anne, 5 children Amalea, Aleana, Andrew, Aesher, Arelea

Occupation: Licensed Professional Counselor

Education: Master of Arts in Education

Community organizations with which you are active: National Disaster Medical System (NDMS)

Questions and answers:

1. What would be your top priority if elected to the Hanover school board? How would you accomplish that mission?

Daubert:

Farley:

Frederick: Increased opportunities for college bound students to challenge themselves with advanced coursework prior to applying to college. The national and state focus on test scores and adequate yearly progress in recent years has resulted in a larger portion of district resources, both time and money, being focused on the opposite end of the academic spectrum. This could be remedied by partnering with neighboring school districts for additional AP course opportunities, offering college level coursework in High School via HACC or other area colleges, or via online courses run by our own district instead of charter or cyber schools.

Reck: Hanover currently pays over a million dollars in cyber/charter tuition per year, a number that far outpaces neighboring districts -- districts with double our budget and more than double our student population. Part of this problem needs to be addressed at the state level: despite relentless advertisements for "tuition-free" online education, school districts -- which means we as taxpayers -- are footing the bill. But we can address the problem at the local level, as well. We have wonderful teachers and an extensive list of unique programs at Hanover. Yet we're paying over a million dollars a year for students not to come to school. How can this be? We need to take an honest look at practices that exclude our neediest students from these life-changing programs, ensure that all of our kids have access to these opportunities, and encourage them to be a part of all that makes Hanover special.

Shea: One of the top priorities for the board is to find a permanent superintendent. Perhaps the interim superintendent will stay on, but the board needs to work with administrators to find a long-term solution.

Williams: To see that children in the district have a quality public education and activities that will enhance their experience in school to result in graduation from high school. Becoming familiar with each of the schools in the district, I will advocate for enriching the educational successes at each school. When there are challenges to be met, I will encourage that schools have the avenues to address the noted concerns while keeping the focus on kids having a safe, and rewarding experience in their education.

2. How would you rate the facilities in the Hanover Public School District? Are there improvements at any of those facilities that you believe the school district should explore?

Daubert:

Farley:

Frederick: The district has upgraded each of its facilities within the last 20 years, including several in the last 5 years. At this time we should continue to adequately maintain these facilities each year so they don't fall into disrepair and require replacement anytime in the next 20 years!

Reck: The district has recently finished multiple building and renovation projects, and I think both the current board and district staff have done a commendable job ensuring that we have great facilities for our kids.

Shea: The facilities are in good shape. Two of the three elementary schools were renovated a few years ago, along with the stadium, and maintenance is ongoing. The board's building and grounds committee looks ahead at anticipated projects -- when a roof will need to be replaced or an HVAC system updated.

Williams: There have been modifications to schools in the district and this is an ongoing process. I am satisfied with the commitment the Board has in making modifications and will encourage persons in the community to advocate for what they may see to be helpful in their given school.

3. The Hanover Public School District has a property tax rate of 19.83 mills. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best, how would you rate the school district's job of balancing the needs of students and taxpayers? Why would you give the district that rating?

Daubert:

Farley:

Frederick: The current state and federal funding structure for public education, or lack thereof, has left many local school districts in a no win situation. Given that backdrop, I would rate the school district a 7 for balancing the needs of students and taxpayers. Many tough issues have been tackled in recent years. Many significant decisions remain. I feel it is our duty to provide students the best possible education within the tax constraints set in place by state law.

Reck: 8 -- The district has done an impressive job in recent years, not only maintaining a healthy fund balance, but also putting enough money aside to offset rising PSERS contributions that are outside of the district's control. I think there have been a few cuts, however, where the negative impact on our programs and students far outweighs the minimal cost savings. Hanover has an array of phenomenal co- and extra-curricular opportunities that have almost no impact on the overall budget, and we must be careful not to do unnecessary damage to these unique programs in the name of cost-cutting.

Shea: The district deserves a 9. Students receive a quality education and taxpayers receive a good value, but there's always room for improvement.

Williams: Supporting public education is an investment. Appreciating the connection of the property taxes funding our children's education, I will advocate that the value that is assessed to property in the district is accomplished fairly. I will study the history of how the district develops its budget(s). Working with the Board, one of my priorities will be the focus of feasible and appropriate teacher to student class-size ratios. I feel that the children in the district are fortunate to have more attention and resources when compared to many other school districts. This reflects very positively on our community. As there are still challenges to be met, particularly to students who require more specialized educational services, my rating for the district would be 7.

4. Several school districts have adopted activity or extracurricular fees as a means of helping cover the cost of those programs. At this point, Hanover does not. How do you feel about this means of raising additional revenue toward the district's budget? Is it an option Hanover should explore? Why or why not?

Daubert:

Farley:

Frederick: Activity fees can be a reasonable recourse in some situations, however, with over half our student body receiving free or reduced price lunches, we need to make sure that any such fee can be easily waived so that NO STUDENT is ever turned away from an activity due to the cost. Study after study has shown that students that participate in extracurricular activities are more likely to be successful in academics as well, so we must be sure that any such fee does not serve as a deterrent to participation. With the demographics of the Hanover Public School District I do not feel such a fee would be a significant revenue source at this time.

Reck: These fees should never be an option for our district. Extracurriculars typically make up less than 1 percent of a district's overall budget, yet they have a tremendous impact on both our students and our community. We should be doing everything within our power to get as many of our students involved in these programs as possible. Enacting extracurricular fees will only serve to restrict the students who need these programs most.

Shea: As a Title 1 school district, parents should not be charged additional fees for allowing their children to participate in extracurricular activities, which are beneficial to student achievement. In addition, most teams and clubs already conduct fundraisers to support their organizations.

Williams: A school district having extracurricular activities is essential for the continued growth and maturity of its students. I believe this is a very important consideration for a district's budget. Appreciating that some of the activities will not be entirely self-funded or self-supported, I will advocate that there be reviewed the history of programs that each school in the district has had. I will encourage the review how such activities or programs have helped the esteem and success of the students. There has been the formation of several parent groups that have helped in the raising of their own funds. It is my understanding that this was not a mandate from the district -- rather it being a conviction on the part of parents in the community who see the connection of students success in academics as well as participation in, for example, music and the arts. The district encouraging the growth and expansion of extracurricular activities may require more advocacy from parents and organizations in the community to make what the districts budget can continue to accommodate.

5. What sets you apart as a candidate voters should support for a seat on the Hanover school board?

Daubert:

Farley:

Frederick: 28 year career in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) field. Parent of three children who attend or graduated from Hanover Public School District. Many years of leadership in volunteer organizations including Athletic Boosters, Drama Boosters, Church Council and Church Youth Group. Served 4 years on HPSD school board from 2003-2007.

Reck: I have one daughter in eighth grade and another who has just started Kindergarten. I love this district, and I want to make sure both my girls and all of their classmates get the best educational experiences that we can provide as a community.

Shea: Through volunteering with the PTOs, working with the new drama boosters group from ground up, and direct connection with teachers and administrators, I am ready to take my involvement to the next level.

Williams: I am a resident of Hanover. My wife, Anne, and I have 5 children with participation in 3 of the district schools. My family background sees the imperative for there to be education available to children with parental encouragement and involvement. Being on the Hanover Public School Board would be both a privilege and a responsibility. Educating a child's Journey, while Journeying a child's Education, is instrumental for our community being healthy, while providing the opportunity for the enhancement of future leaders with a quality public education.