York Suburban board member resigns; board to fill vacancy

York Suburban Senior High School in Spring Garden Township, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018. Dawn J. Sagert photo

A York Suburban school board member resigned Monday, leaving an open spot for which candidates can interview Monday at a special meeting.

Kenneth Watts sent a letter to the district last month in which he said he was resigning for personal reasons, said Superintendent Timothy Williams. His resignation was approved Monday, Oct. 7, at the board's planning committee meeting.

His replacement would sit for the remainder of his term, which expires in November 2021.

"I am gonna miss his leadership on the policy committee and his thoughtful consideration of all the issues," Williams said, adding that as the chair of the board's policy committee, Watts had an affinity for the subject.

Board President John Posenau said Watts' resignation was accepted with regret, and he commended Watts' contributions to the board as chairman of the policy committee and a member of the personnel and communication committees.

"His thoughtfulness and wit will be sorely missed by all the board members as well as the YSSD administration," he said.

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Applicants must be district residents and can complete an application online here, or by calling Wendy Erwine at 717-885-1210. All submissions must be sent to Erwine by noon Friday, Oct. 11.

At the special meeting, each candidate will make a personal statement, answer interview questions posed by board members and end with a closing statement, according to the district's process to fill a board vacancy.

Potential candidates might be asked how they make difficult decisions, what prompted their interest and how they would describe the culture of York Suburban.

Posenau said his expectations for a new board member would be for that person to continue with York Suburban's standard for debating issues in a thoughtful and respectful manner, despite not always coming to complete agreement.

"We are now facing challenges of a growing student population and aging facilities. We are beginning to explore our options to provide the best for our students while remaining aware of the financial burdens of our citizens," Posenau said in an email.

Given those important topics, he added, "My expectations for any potential new board member would be that they possess a fierce desire to do the best for our students and faculty while understanding the current fiscal environment, bringing that desire forward in the same collegial approach that currently exists."

That special meeting, which is open to the public, begins at 6 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Provard Education Center, 1800 Hollywood Drive, in Spring Garden Township.  A successful applicant will be seated on Oct. 21.