This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website.
Two West Chester residents are seeking the Republican and Democratic nomination for the West Chester Area School District’s one Region 3 school board seat in the Primary Election May 19.
Incumbent Gary Bevilacqua is looking to retain his seat.
Vying for Bevilacqua’s seat is Matthew Illich.
Gary Bevilacqua (R/D)
Bevilacqua, a resident of Westtown, is married with two children.
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Bevilacqua is currently a project manager at The Vanguard Group.
“I have had the pleasure of serving as a school board member for the last year. I am pleased to be involved as a school board member as our district continues to thrive, to advance and to improve in all aspects. These achievements are due to the excellence in the WCASD administration, teaching and governance of the school board and the support of the community. I want to continue to contribute to the success and excellent reputation of our district. Currently, our district ranks in the top 1 percent of school districts in Pennsylvania, according to PA School Performance Profile and has been named to the Annual AP District Honor Roll by the College Board five years running. All three high schools are ranked in the top 100 high schools in Pennsylvania and the top 500 high schools nationwide. WCASD maintains the lowest school property taxes in the county. With your vote on May 19, I will continue to support policies that will advance our district and our community while being fiscally responsible.”
Matthew Illich (R/D)
Illich, a resident of Westtown, is married with two children, both of whom attend schools in the West Chester district.
“Remember that, as school director, the kids come first. I am concerned that the upcoming pension obligation increase has the potential to adversely affect both the students’ education and the tax payers. Specifically, the pension obligation will increase steadily over the next 10 years, eventually, consuming 30 percent of the district budget. Unchecked, this means steady tax increases for the residents of WCASD Region 3 or cuts in programming. I believe there is opportunity to make adjustments within the existing budget so our excellent educational programs stay funded while protecting the tax payers, especially our seniors and others on fixed income. At the same time, I see potential in working with our State Representatives to help address the pension funding, and other school funding, to help ease the burden on local tax dollars.”