Greencastle-Antrim School Board gets new leadership

Eric Holtzman was elected president and Brian Hissong as vice president

December 01, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER |

GREENCASTLE, Pa. — Greencastle-Antrim School Board has new leadership following its annual reorganization meeting on Thursday.

Eric Holtzman was elected president and Brian Hissong as vice president. Both serve a one-year term.

A vote to re-elect Joel Fridgen to a second term as board president failed, as did a vote to re-elect Michael Shindle to a fifth term as board vice president.

Newly seated board member Tracy Baer made the motion to nominate Eric Holtzman for president, which was seconded by newly seated board member Michael Still.

Baer's motion to elect Hissong as vice president was seconded by newly seated board member Ken Haines.

On her first night on the 9-member school board, Baer said she wanted someone new leading the board.

"I think it should be one of those positions that rotates every year, and with two of the existing members — Shindle and Fridgen — already there I wanted to bring someone new in," she said.

Holtzman was elected the new board president with five yes votes and four no votes. Ken Haines, Brian Hissong, Holtzman, Michael Still and Tracy Baer voted yes, while Melinda Cordell, Joel Fridgen, Michael Shindle and William Thorne voted no.

Cordell, Shindle, Thorne, Holtzman, Haines, Baer and Still voted in favor of Hissong as vice president. Hissong abstained and Fridgen dissented.

Holtzman has served on the school board for more than four years.

As president, he wants to continue building on the successes at Greencastle-Antrim.

"I want to try to run a balanced budget. The second item is I would like to see us use additional technology throughout the district to provide more opportunities for the students," Holtzman said.

Like Baer, Holtzman thinks both the position of president and vice president should rotate.

"I think you are going to see different people up here every year. We've had four board presidents in three years, and I think you're going to continue to see that trend," he said.

While Fridgen wished Holtzman well in his new position, he expressed concerns.

"Can Eric (Holtzman) separate his role as President of the Board of Directors of GASD from the interests of his job and role as Business Manager of TSD? (Tuscarora School District) Everyone understands our professional staff is paid more than other districts in the county. Is it in his interests as their business manager to see that gap be narrowed so Tuscarora can save money and be more competitive? I am not saying this will happen. I am not willing to take that risk," Fridgen wrote in a letter given to the media at the end of the board meeting.

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