Crowded field in Tuscarora School Board race

October 30, 2007|By JENNIFER FITCH

MERCERSBURG, Pa. - Mercersburg-area voters headed to the polls Nov. 6 have decisions to make concerning six Tuscarora School Board seats.

Six people are vying for five four-year terms, while Larry Funk is running unopposed for a two-year term.

Funk, 55, of 6021 Hager Road, Greencastle, Pa., spent 30 years in the U.S. Air Force and returned to the district six years ago. He has attended board meetings since June.

The half-dozen seeking the four-year terms are a mix of incumbents and newcomers.

Larry M. Buchanan, 57, of 5670 Franklin Ave., Williamson, is in his 11th year on the school board and attends meetings regularly. A lifelong resident of the district, Buchanan is a registered Republican who will appear on ballots as Dem/Rep after also winning the Democratic nomination in May.

"We're trying to get a renovation project under way at our high school," Buchanan said. "Now that it's getting under way, I'd like to see it through."


Buchanan, a warehousing specialist, also said the board will soon be negotiating a new teacher contract.

Guy N. Hollenshead, 76, of 13168 Main St., Fort Loudon, has served on the school board for approximately 30 years and attends meetings regularly. Hollenshead is a registered Democrat, but will appear as Dem/Rep on ballots.

"We're facing some real financial considerations," he said.

The semi-retired farmer said the extent of high school renovations could be a voters' decision in the future through Pennsylvania's Act 1 of 2006. He said he wanted to seek another term to keep projects moving forward, since there will be new members on the board.

Daryl S. Hunsberger, 38, of 11503 Hunter Road, Mercersburg, is a lifelong resident of the district who is the assistant principal of South Hagerstown High School. The registered Republican has attended meetings since July.

He said he has concerns with "substantial" tax increases in the past two years.

"We have a lot of elderly people up here, and we need to try to keep them comfortable and respect what they've done," Hunsberger said.

He also said positions have been left open when teachers retired.

Dan Reeder, 47, of 1350 Shields Road, St. Thomas, Pa., is an airline pilot who has lived in the district 33 years over two periods. He said he has attended half of the board meetings in recent months.

"I feel I have a vested interest in the school district and how it performs," said Reeder, who added that he believes the high school renovation is necessary.

Reeder said the taxpayers must be engaged in the renovation process. He is a registered Republican who will appear as Dem/Rep on ballots.

Clifford A. Smith Jr., 45, of 11670 Mercersburg Road, Mercersburg, is a lifelong resident of the district. The Republican is the graduate student services representative in the College of Education with Temple University's Harrisburg, Pa., campus.

Smith was appointed to a vacant school board seat in September 2006 and attends meetings regularly.

"I'm running because I believe that education is the strongest opportunity for children to advance themselves in the world. I believe we have to be conscientious about how the school district approaches that," Smith said.

He said the high school renovation should be done in a way that makes the school board good stewards of tax money.

"The school really acts like a community center," Smith said.

Tom Sollenberger, 39, of 7606 Valley Camp Road, St. Thomas, is a registered Democrat, lifelong resident and farm manager/owner. He said he has attended one school board meeting but heard about issues from family and friends who attend.

"I know there are going to be some important decisions being made soon. They're looking at the high school renovation, and I want to be a part of that," Sollenberger said.

He said he wants to keep the board fiscally responsible.

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