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Incumbents face challengers for Chambersburg school board

April 25, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Four of the nine seats on the Chambersburg Area School Board are up for grabs this year with two incumbents facing challengers in the May 17 primary.

Region Three board member Fred Rice is unopposed for re-election and the Region Six seat is open with the retirement of long-time school board member D. Eugene Gayman.

In Pennsylvania, school board candidates can cross-file to run in both party primaries. Therefore, a candidate can receive both, one or none of the party nominations in next month's primary for the Nov. 8 general election.

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The candidates are vying for four-year unpaid terms on the school board.

Region One is western Greene Township and all of Letterkenny and Lurgan townships. Region Four includes parts of Guilford Township and the borough of Chambersburg. Region Six encompasses Hamilton Township.

REGION ONE



Paul B. Ambrose


Address: 1872 Philadelphia Ave., Chambersburg

Age: 67

Occupation: Retired after 31 years of teaching government at Shippensburg University.

Previous experience as an elected official: Two terms on the Greene Township Board of Supervisors.

Experience that should help you if elected: "As a Greene Township supervisor, we always stayed within budget and we never had to have a real estate tax. I also served on the Chambersburg Area Wage Tax Board and interacted with school directors there ... and served on the 2004 school facilities task force."

Why voters should support you: "Because of my being in education for so much of my life. I'm familiar with local government in Pennsylvania ... I'm a big believer in neighborhood schools and I think most parents believe in neighborhood schools."

Robert L. Helman


Address: 3285 Rotz Road, Chambersburg

Occupation: Dairy farmer

Previous experience as an elected official: Three four-year terms on the school board

Experience that should help you if elected: "My father and grandfather were both school directors ... I've served on other boards where hard decisions had to be made over the years, just like on the school board."

Why voters should support you: "I think I've done a good job the last 111/2 years and I'm well-experienced in making decisions because on the farm, all kinds of situations come up every day."




REGION FOUR



Carl Barton


Address: 1505 Springview Circle, Chambersburg

Age: 63

Occupation: Research assistant professor, University of Pittsburgh

Previous experience as an elected official: None

Experience that should help you if elected: "I have performed analysis or teaching for Penn State, Pitt, NASA, FEMA, the headquarters of Depot Systems Command, the Army War College and Northrop Grumman. I participated in weekly meetings to develop the Chambersburg Master Plan in 1975-76."

Why voters should support you: "I would work to reduce the homeowner school property taxes for those least able to afford them while increasing total school spending. I would ensure that the public provides input to and receives detailed justification for all major school decisions."

Thomas P. Orndorf


Address: 1697 Falling Spring Road, Chambersburg

Age: 46

Occupation: Obstetrician/gynecologist

Previous experience as an elected official: Two four-year terms on the school board.

Experience that should help you if elected: Orndorf, chairman of the district's Buildings and Grounds Committee, said he has financial, executive and committee experience through Chambersburg Hospital, Keystone Women's Care, Keystone Rural Health Center and the school board.

Why voters should support you: "I'm very committed to the improvement of the schools ... I've waited a long time for the ability to move ahead and make a difference. The whole board is functioning more as a team than it ever has before."




REGION SIX



Norman B. Blowers


Address: 9614 Gilbert Road, Chambersburg

Age: 58

Occupation: Technical coordinator and teacher at Grace Academy, Hagerstown. Ordained minister.

Previous experience as an elected official: None

Experience that should help you if elected: "I've helped start a private school and I've been involved in two of those."

Why voters should support you: "Experience, know-how, research ability and judgment. The No. 1 thing is raising achievement test scores and graduate literacy rates. I'd like to see that bar raised."

Kimberly L. Hartman


Address: 1980 Quigley Drive, Chambersburg

Age: 29

Occupation: Systems analyst at Chambersburg Hospital

Previous experience as an elected official: None

Experience that should help you if elected: "I'm simply a mom who grew up in this community and went to these schools and now my daughter is growing up here ... I care about kids of all ages and the quality of our education."

Why voters should support you: "Many voters, especially those with children in school, will find I have the same concerns as they do - class sizes, regional principals in our elementary schools, aging facilities and the need for better long-term planning."

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