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Southern York district remembers deceased board member, seeks replacement

From left to right: Southern York County school board member Bruce Bauman, Superintendent Sandra Lemmon and members Robert Schefter and James Holley. The board on Thursday, Jan. 17 remembered former member Jerri Groncki, who recently died.

Longtime Southern York County School District board member Jerri Groncki has died, leaving an open position that will be filled at a special board meeting next month.

The board's director died Jan. 10, according to her obituary. 

The school board is scheduled to interview candidates during its Feb. 12 meeting and is expected to vote that night to appoint a new board director. The new board member would then be seated  Feb. 20. 

The position is up for election in November 2021.

Though Groncki's health had been declining over the past year, according to board President Robert Schefter, the news of her death came as a shock to board members, who mourned her loss Thursday and celebrated her memory.

"It is with a heavy heart that we convene this evening’s meeting, as it is the first meeting of the board of education for the Southern York County School District to be convened without Jerri Groncki sitting as a board member in over 27 years," he said.

Throughout her time on the board, Groncki spent time as chairwoman for several committees. She was the district's representative for the Pennsylvania School Board Association and York County School of Technology.

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Schefter said Groncki's daughter had reminisced about how many nights at dinner her family would have to hear about the wonderful things the school board was doing.

Robert Schefter

Groncki had a passion for the position like no other, members said, and even convinced her husband, Ronald Groncki, to become a board member.

“Jerri as education chair would read every textbook that came before her for approval, she read every book that was presented for approval for the library, and she reviewed every curriculum,” Schefter said.

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That passion also played out in her lengthy reports for York County School of Technology, making sure every accomplishment was also given its due time, he said.

Upon meeting her for the first time, Superintendent Sandra Lemmon said. "I immediately knew, what an incredibly special lady."

Southern York County School District Superintendent Sandra Lemmon introduces students who are presenting books to school board members at the board's Thursday, Jan. 16 meeting.

Board member Judi Fisher said Groncki had been a mentor to everyone on the board.

"More importantly, Jerri was a kind soul and a great person," Schefter said. "I never saw her lose her patience or say disparaging remarks about anyone."

Residents interested in applying for the open board position must send a letter of interest before 4 p.m. Feb. 5 and a statement of financial interest before Feb. 12.

Letters should be submitted to Susan Green at Susan.Green@sycsd.org or to the Thomas R. Hensley Administration Center, 3280 Fissels Church Road, Glen Rock,  17327.

The statement of financial interest form may also be obtained from Green.

Board member qualifications are listed under Board Policy No. 004: Membership on the district website, www.sycsd.org/ under District: Board Policy. Additional information on the application can be found on the website under School Board.