The Knight Crier

School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

NPSD+Board+of+School+Directors%3A+Juliane+Ramic+was+sworn+in+as+a+Board+member+on+Tuesday%2C+January+9th.+
NPSD Board of School Directors: Juliane Ramic was sworn in as a Board member on Tuesday, January 9th.

NPSD Board of School Directors: Juliane Ramic was sworn in as a Board member on Tuesday, January 9th.

Sameera Rachakonda

Sameera Rachakonda

NPSD Board of School Directors: Juliane Ramic was sworn in as a Board member on Tuesday, January 9th.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






LANSDALE- The North Penn School District Board of School Directors held a work session meeting on Tuesday evening to interview four candidates for the Board seat that was vacated last December. The Board seat, vacated when Ms. Suzan Leonard left the Board for a position as the local district court judge, was granted to Ms. Juliane Ramic. In addition, Mr. Steve Skrocki updated the Board on the 2018-19 Preliminary Budget.

After evaluating all of the applicants’ resumes and qualifications, the Board selected four candidates to be interviewed at the meeting on Tuesday night. Each candidate gave an opening statement. Following their statement, the Board President Ms. Tina Stoll asked the candidate what they saw as North Penn’s biggest strengths and challenges both today and over the next five years. The rest of the Board was then able to ask any follow-up questions based on the candidate’s answers as well as his or her’s resume.

The first person interviewed was Dr. Concetta Lupo. Lupo is a mother of two boys in the district and has lived in the district for eleven years. Professionally, she is a principal in the Wissahickon school district.

“I love learning, I love teaching. I do it purely because I love children and I want to make their academic experience engaging, involving them and their parents and making them lifelong learners,” Lupo expressed in her opening statement.

When asked about the strengths and challenges of North Penn, Lupo stated that some current challenges are the budget and meeting all of the children’s needs. However, she also stated that it’s one of North Penn’s strengths at the same time, and the district does a great job with it.

“What our strengths are could be what our weaknesses are. We just have to keep working on it for the children,” declared Lupo.

Afterward, Dr. Michelle Rupp was interviewed. Rupp was a part of the Quality Education Matters team during the 2017 School Board election campaign. Motivated by her daughter to get into politics, Rupp discussed the big challenge of being fiscally responsible while addressing renovation needs and A.C. needs as well as the importance of being creative when dealing with budget issues. When asked about bipartisanship, Rupp stressed her overall disinterest in politics and her lack of a political agenda.

“I don’t have an agenda. I have a skill set and an ability to do things to help my community and help the kids and at the end of the day, that’s what’s really important. We’re all sitting around a table and we’re talking about what we need to do to make sure we’re doing the best for our students and our community,” Rupp voiced.

Issues that she commented on specifically were the ongoing issues of smaller class sizes and full-day kindergarten. Rupp admitted that she is not opposed to those ideas if the Board can have a dynamic discussion about how to implement those policies without unfairly burdening community members with taxes.

Following Rupp, Mr. Varghese Kurian was interviewed by the Board. Kurian addressed the biggest strength of North Penn as being diversity while also admitting it was a challenge at times to embrace it. Another strength he felt was prominent in the district was the people who volunteer and chaperone their time.

“The strength are the people in this area. I see that when I go to my children’s school there’s never a shortage of parents willing to be chaperones, to be part of the Home and School. The people are the strength.”

Kurian explained that his vision for the School Board director is to make sure the students gain education in all of the ways possible.

“The School Board’s job is to make sure the education is there, the experience is there. And education isn’t just what you learn from the blackboard, the whiteboard, the smart board; it’s what you learn from your peers, it’s what you learn after school,” expressed Kurian.

Ms. Juliane Ramic was the last candidate to be interviewed. Ramic moved to the district with her husband initially as a temporary home and found a permanent residence after her children entered school.

“The school became our community and the community became our school, and they became so interrelated. “I want to be part of taking something that is strong and that is good and working and make it better,” Ramic expressed in her opening statement.

Regarding the strengths and weakness of the district, Ramic discussed some of the strengths as being the staff and the growing recognition of the diversity. She discussed the challenge of being responsive to a changing community and changing workforce as well as figuring out how to prepare North Penn students to be contributing members to the community after they graduate and leave the district. As a program officer for the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Ramic discussed the relation of that with being on the Board and stressed the significance of extending a warm welcome to communities who feel under-represented.

“If you look at the immigrant communities within the North Penn School District, it’s important to look at their migration experience. Nothing connects to an immigrant community then extending an arm of welcome,” Ramic said.

Ramic also discussed her experience as a part of the Knapp Elementary Home and School Association as well as her perspective toward the disparity in how renters are viewed as less committed than homeowners.

The Board nominated all four candidates and took a roll call vote. In order for the candidate to be elected to the Board, a majority vote of five votes is necessary. The first roll call vote led to four votes for Ramic, two votes for Rupp, and one vote each for Lupo and Kurian. After the second roll call produced the same results, Lupo stepped down from the running and Diasio switched his vote to Kurian. Another round of voting led to four votes for Ramic, two votes for Rupp, and two votes for Kurian. Public comment led to a couple questions regarding the candidates’ backgrounds and their willingness to work with parents’ ideas. The fifth roll call vote produced six votes for Ramic as Fusco and Diasio switched their votes, officially granting Ramic the position.

Following the swearing in of Ramic, Mr. Stephen Skrocki discussed the 2018-19 preliminary budget with the Board. Skrocki went over the various aspects of the first draft of the budget. Moving forward, the Board will have further discussion and make more decisions about the budget in the upcoming meetings.

A mother and her daughter, a sophomore at North Penn High School, spoke out about the activity “Alligator River” which is taught every year in sophomore health. They discussed how the activity perpetuates rape culture as well as the need for a K-12 program about sexual harassment. Several ladies from local domestic violence centers and care centers for sexual abuse victims also provided their testimonies.

The next meeting of the North Penn School District Board of School Directors will be an action meeting on January 18th at 7:30 PM in the Educational Services Center.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

    News

    Class of 2018 says Goodbye

  • School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

    News

    PHOTO STORY: Class of 2018 Graduation

  • School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

    News

    North Penn library secretary Janice Johnson to retire

  • School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

    News

    NPHS Engineering Academy to present Nanotechnology and Engineering Research

  • School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

    News

    Board discusses budget, hears from community about controversial slavery game

  • School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

    News

    Artistic talents K-12 to be on display at NPHS

  • School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

    News

    NPHS Animation students to be showcased in upcoming Teen Animation Festival International in San Francisco

  • School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

    News

    NPHS students capture awards in AAUW writing contest

  • School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

    News

    Weekly World Headlines

  • School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat

    News

    Former Congressional candidate meets with NP Democrats Club

Online News Day or Knight - Official news site of North Penn High School - 1340 Valley Forge Rd. Lansdale, PA
School Board swears in Juliane Ramic to fill vacant seat