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Teen joins Antrim Township board as student representative

June 21, 2006|by JENNIFER FITCH

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - A 16-year-old resident of Antrim Township will be joining the municipality's board of supervisors as a student representative to, she hopes, provide energy and a new perspective on matters affecting the community.

Kacie Oberholzer, daughter of Philip and Kimberly Oberholzer, said she became interested in the position as she bugged the student teacher in her civics class about developments in the area. That student teacher, Angela Garland, is the township's zoning officer.

"I'm a small-town girl, born and raised here. I don't particularly favor seeing all the development popping up," Kacie told the supervisors during a recent meeting.

She explained that she doesn't necessarily want to stop development, but instead make the supervisors think about different aspects as the houses are proposed.

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"I think you have a voice that needs to be heard," Supervisor Scott Diffenderfer said.

Kacie, who will be a junior at Greencastle-Antrim High School this fall, said she wants to approach the position in the same manner she uses with her three horses, revisiting and chipping away at problems.

The booming development is tied to agricultural concerns, she said.

"Greencastle is a farming community. Right now I feel like we're ignoring the farmers. ... I understand why farmers are selling (land) because they can retire and become millionaires," Kacie said.

She also has concerns about development's impact on the school system, noting next year's kindergarten class is projected to be substantially larger than those before it.

"Every year my graduating class grows," Kacie said.

Antrim Township created a student representative position several years ago when the Greencastle-Antrim Joint Ventures Committee passed along the recommendation from the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs. It is rare for a municipality in Franklin County to maintain a student representative.

"We're glad you're here and willing to do this. ... You're in for an education," Supervisor James Byers said.

Kacie is looking to enter the nursing field and/or military in the future.

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