This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
Four West Chester residents are seeking the Republican nomination for the West Chester Area School District’s two Region 2 school board seats in the Primary Election May 19.
Two of those residents are also on the Democratic ticket.
Vying for spots, with no incumbent, are Samantha Bloom, Karen Herrmann, Matthew Morley and Christopher Tabakin.
Samantha Bloom (R/D)
Bloom, a resident of West Whiteland, is married with two children, both of whom currently attend schools in the West Chester district.
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Her educational background includes Grinnell College.
Bloom is currently a fundraising administrator.
“I would welcome an opportunity to serve our community as part of a collaborative team, and to build upon the positive progress the current board has initiated. My focus is to continue to promote student excellence and achievement in our district while balancing fiscal responsibility.”
Karen Herrmann (R)
Herrmann, a resident of West Chester, is married.
She is a retired educator.
“Providing a world-class education to our students is of the utmost importance. Having worked in the WCASD as a teacher for many years, I have seen firsthand that excessive state and federal regulations on testing impede the education process for teachers and students. The WCASD is an excellent school district and test scores continue to prove this. Our students are successful. However, the administration and teachers of the district have proven themselves more than capable of setting high standards and monitoring student progress through district benchmarks in the various curriculum areas. Our students with special needs have curriculum designed according to individual educational programs. They are monitored carefully. As members of the educational community of the WCASD, we need to demand that the excessively expensive testing be abolished at the state level and the task of setting standards and assessing those standards be returned to the district. Students at all levels are being frustrated with the constant bombardment of testing. Teachers and administrators are frustrated at the loss of instructional time. And, as taxpayers, all members of the WCASD community should be outraged at the cost of these tests that are, in many cases, working against students and educators. If we want to cut costs in education, let us do so by first abolishing these tests, and put the task of educating our students back into the hands of teachers and parents.”
Matthew Morley (R/D)
Could not be reached for comment.
Christopher Tabakin (R)
Tabakin, a resident of West Whiteland, is married.
Tabakin is currently a nonprofit director at Access Services and president of IHI International, a nonprofit he founded in 2014 focused on supports for vulnerable children and adults worldwide.
“My focus is on continuing access to excellent education for students in the West Chester Area School District. I am concerned about common core and high-stakes testing because I see and hear the toll it is taking on students, teachers and parents, as well as the economic burden it is adding to our system without much value in return. This is why I love that WCASD has formed a Legislative Action Committee, of which I have become an active member, so we can inform decision makers. These issues need to be addressed first at the legislative and administrative levels, so that local school boards can focus on what is best for the students, and to make sure our tax dollars are used wisely on things that benefit students.”