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Shea, 19, running unopposed for school board seat

October 31, 2003|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Megan Shea wants a career in politics and she is not wasting any time getting started.

At 19, the Washington Township woman is poised to become the youngest school board member in Pennsylvania, having won both the Democratic and Republican nominations in the May 20 primary for a seat representing the township on the Waynesboro Area Board of School Directors.

Despite her age, Shea is not exactly a newcomer to the board. A 2002 graduate of Waynesboro Area Senior High School, she spent two years as a student representative to the board.

"I just really liked watching the inner workings of the school district. The administration, faculty, parents and students," Shea said. Shea will take over the seat of board member Stephen D. Kulla, who decided not to run for re-election.

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"Yes and no," Shea said when asked if she was surprised no one ran against her in the primary. "I know it's kind of a thankless job."

She said unlike school board positions in some states, such as Maryland, those in Pennsylvania are not paid.

"I am surprised by how much support I've gotten in the community," she said.

A registered Democrat, Shea crossfiled in the primary, which is allowed in school board, district justice and judicial elections.

The top priority for the district, according to Shea, is a proposed realignment of the grades that will require additional classroom space.

"Basically, just making sure we have the space we need ... They're anticipating a lot of growth" in the district, she said.

A sophomore at Shippensburg (Pa.) University, Shea is majoring in political science with a secondary education certificate. While she may end up teaching, Shea said that is not her ultimate goal.

"I'd definitely like to work my way up the political ladder," she said.

There is no competition for school board seats across Franklin County in school board races. In the Greencastle-Antrim, Chambersburg, Waynesboro, Tuscarora, Fannett-Metal and Shippensburg districts, voters will choose from a slate of candidates who won both the GOP and Democratic nominations in May.

That does not mean there will not be change, however. In Chambersburg, for example, Region 5 candidate Lori Leedy, Region 7 candidate Dave Sciamanna and Region 8 candidate Renee Sharpe beat incumbents in the primary.

In county government, incumbent County Commissioners G. Warren Elliott and Bob Thomas, both Republicans, are running for third terms, as is Democrat Cheryl Plummer. Democrat Don Richards is the fourth candidate in the race for three seats on the board of commissioners.

Clerk of Courts William Vandrew, Controller Carol Fix Diller, Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner, District Attorney John F. Nelson, Prothonotary Linda Beard, Register and Recorder Linda Miller and Sheriff Robert Wollyung are running without opposition.

All won both the Republican and Democratic nominations, except Wollyung, who is the GOP nominee. He fended off a challenge for the Republican nomination from former deputy Dane Anthony.

Anthony had enough write-in votes to take the Democratic nomination, but decided against running in the general election.

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