York Suburban School Board fills empty seat; new member hopes to boost diversity

Meredith Willse
York Dispatch

York Suburban School Board members selected a candidate to join them starting Sept. 12. 

The board chose Pinal Desai during a special meeting Aug. 30 to replace Quentin Gee, who announced his resignation earlier this month because he is moving out of the district.

Ten candidates vied for Gee’s spot, which will expire on Dec. 5, 2023. After listening to and interviewing the candidates, the board voted for Desai, a manager for a cyber security company. 

More:The new York County History Center site

More:York County political stalwart Salome Johnson remembered for her advocacy

More:York City teen reported missing has been found

Desai, who was born and raised in India before his family moved to America when he was 11, said he can bring a fresh perspective to the board.

He and his wife have lived in the district for the past 12 years and are raising two elementary school-aged daughters. His children are what makes him more invested in the district and why he hopes to serve on the board for some time, he said. He previously didn’t run for a seat on the board because prior commitments made it difficult for him to give the time. 

Desai has regularly attended board meetings for the past few years and became interested because his daughters inspired him. 

Students return to school for the first time in six months at York Suburban Middle School, Wednesday, August 19, 2020. Sixth and ninth grade students started a day earlier than the rest of the district due to moving up to bigger schools.
John A. Pavoncello photo

“I want to make sure the school district has the success that it has for our daughters and all the students,” he said. 

Desai said he thought the education standards are “up there” but believes there is room for improvements in various activities for students.

The district also needs more diverse representation and inclusion, he said, adding it can make a big difference to minority students. 

“We started off with 30% minority group, we’re at almost 40%,” Desai said.

More:Man arrested in connection with Monday shooting in York City: Police

More:North York residents react to plans to redevelop Central High athletic field

More:York College partners with firm to offer virtual medical and counseling services

It's also crucial to have time and resources available for students and staff for mental health and substance abuse issues, he said.

Desai will have to run for election in 2023 to keep his seat on the board.

— Reach Meredith Willse at mwillse@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @MeredithWillse.

>> Please consider subscribing to support local journalism.