Primary election day in Pennsylvania is now less than six weeks away. As a result, many candidates for local office are busy introducing or re-introducing themselves to voters.
In the Southern Lehigh School District, the candidates for school board are striving to distinguish themselves from within a crowded field of 11 candidates for four seats.
Each seat is for a four-year term on the nine-member school board.
According to the March 10 LehighValleyLive.com story “Here are the candidates in Lehigh Valley contested 2021 primary races,” ten of the 11 candidates are cross-filed (meaning they will appear on both the Democratic and Republican ballots). The eleventh candidate for Southern Lehigh School Board is running on the Republican ticket only.
Democrat-Republican candidates: Paul Deebel, Nicole Dolan, Timothy Kearney, Nicole King, Glenn S. Laverty IV, Stephen R. Maund, Kathleen Parsons (Incumbent), Mary Joy Reinartz, Melissa Torba, Christopher Wayock
Republican candidate: Danelle Roy
*Note: If a campaign social media page or website was found to exist it has been linked above.
A topic that is expected to factor in the upcoming election is the district’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Southern Lehigh’s reliance–to varying degrees–on remote learning has been both praised and criticized, with some families supporting the more cautious approach and others advocating for a rapid return to full-time, in-person classes.
As has happened in a number of other districts, the motives behind the administration’s decisions have been debated on social media this school year, particularly by members of the community who see asynchronous learning as a threat to their children’s education.
More information about the Southern Lehigh School Board candidates’ views on the topic of in-person education during the pandemic may be found on the website Vote411.org.
The Southern Lehigh School District includes Upper Saucon Township, Lower Milford Township and Coopersburg borough. Approximately 3,200 students are enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade in the district.
Pennsylvania’s primary elections are closed, meaning that only registered Democrats and Republicans may vote in them. Republicans and Democrats alike may only vote for candidates from their own party. Most local races are partisan, but school boards aren’t, which is why candidates for the school board seats may appear on both ballots.
The top four finishers on each ballot in the May 18 primary will advance to the general election, when all registered voters will have the opportunity to cast ballots for up to four school board candidates. General elections in Pennsylvania are open to all registered voters, who can vote for anyone on the ballot, regardless of their party affiliation.
The last day to register to vote in the primary is Monday, May 3. Registration may be completed online and registered voters may elect to vote by mail. Find more information about voting by mail as well as where to vote in person at PAVotes.com.
Editor’s Note: Saucon Source invites each candidate in this race to share why they are running for school board and what they hope to accomplish if elected in a statement of up to 200 words that we will share with our readers. Candidates may submit links to their social media pages and/or campaign website (if applicable), and include a contact such as an email address for voters who may wish to contact them with further questions. They should also include a photograph of themselves that is suitable for publication (.jpg or .png, higher resolution preferred). Saucon Source will proofread (for spelling and grammar), compile and publish these statements in a primary election guide in May. If a statement exceeds 200 words, we reserve the right to edit it out of fairness to other candidates. Please note that we will make a good faith effort to contact candidates to solicit this information via their public online platforms (if available), but cannot guarantee that all candidates will be reached. The deadline to submit a statement and photo to email@example.com is Friday, April 30 at 5 p.m.