Six now running for five seats on Southern York school board

Southern Middle School in Glen Rock, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Six candidates are running for five seats on the Southern York County school board in Tuesday's municipal election.

The race was uncontested until independent candidate Charles Fallin II — who did not run in the primary — entered the race. Fallin said independent candidates in the district could be on the ballot in the November election as long as they received 60 signatures from either Democrats or Republicans.

Five other candidates crossfiled as Democrats and Republicans and will be on the ballot under both parties. Incumbents Bruce Bauman, Robert Schefter and Ronald Groncki are running along with first-time candidates Danielle Weaver-Watts and Kelly Jarvis.

The incumbents bring experience to the Southern York County school board.

Bauman, 70, has spent 40 years in the engineering industry, has served on the Glen Rock Borough Council and has been a district board member since 1999. Schefter, 49, is an attorney in York County. He’s been on the Southern York board since 2002 and board president since 2007.

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Bruce Beauman

Multiple attempts to reach Groncki were not returned before deadline.

Fallin, 47, is an Army veteran and brings experience in education, having worked in Anne Arundel County Public Schools, in Maryland, for 14 years managing technology for 120 schools and leading projects related to science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM, and performing and visual arts.

He also has a background in engineering and serves on the Southern York superintendent’s advisory committee.

Jarvis, 44, has a strong background in education as well, including a former self-run business delivering school lunches to private schools. She is highly involved in the school system, including the superintendent’s advisory committee.

Bauman and Weaver-Watts each have a local connection, with the former living on a farm in the district and the latter born and raised in southern York County.

Weaver-Watts also brings more than 19 years working in the nonprofit sector in leadership, management and overseeing large budgets.

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Fiscal responsibility is important for Bauman and Schefter, and Bauman added that enhancing safety in an affordable manner is a concern.

"School safety wasn’t as big an issue — in fact it wasn’t an issue at all when I first came on," Bauman said, noting it was before the Columbine High School shooting in Colorado, which happened in April 1999.  

“I just want to bring new insight,” Fallin said, adding that the district could be implementing new systems and partnering with more businesses to help students prepare for the workforce. Schefter agreed.

Sometimes you need to reevaluate decisions that were good at one time with fresh perspectives, Fallin said.

Jarvis and Weaver-Watts said there’s a lack of parent representation on the board and they would be good candidates to raise needed questions and provide that new perspective.

Danielle Weaver-Watts

Keeping up with technology is a key issue for Jarvis and Schefter.

“I also think race relations is an issue,” Jarvis said, adding that parents she’s spoken to in the community list it as an area where they’d like to see improvement.

Southern York had a widely publicized incident this year in which a former principal used blackface makeup to dress up as game show host Steve Harvey, which was found to be insensitive by staff. She was disciplined and will be returning to a teaching position.

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Schefter listed the importance of diversity, social emotional learning and the changing workforce as challenges facing the district.

Robert Schefter

Both he and Bauman are looking to continue with positives such as low tax rates.

“We need to keep it this way and find ways to make it even better,” Schefter said in an email.

All candidates are optimistic of their chances. Bauman said his connection with the community and track record should serve him well, and Jarvis is confident based on her work meeting residents and her primary results. She was the top vote-getter for both Democrats and Republicans.