School Board debate highlights Progress and Views

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TOWAMENCIN – While the Presidential primaries debates take the national stage, more pressing local elections will take the forefront in just a few weeks. In the North Penn School District, that meant it was time for a school board candidates debate. 

Brandi Marlin
Moderators Simeon Barrett, Alexis Bamford, and Skyler Simpson address the candidates.

Every two years, certain seats on the North Penn School Board go up for election. The person holding the seat can either be re-elected or someone new can be chosen. This year is special in particular for North Penn elections, as six seats are up for election.  The board only has nine members, which means that the majority can be flipped to Republican (there are currently more Democratic members). November 5th will be a big election day, as the people elected could greatly impact plans that are being put into place by the current school board.

There are 6 members on the Democratic team, North Penn Neighbors for Progress: Elisha Gee, Tim MacBain, Juilane Ramić, Wanda Lewis-Campbell, Al  Roesch, and Cathy Wesley. Gee, MacBain, and Ramić are all incumbents. On the other side, there are 6 members on the Republican team, North Penn Views: David Kresge, Michelle Rupp, Daniel G. Bell, Karen Calvanese, Ned Smith, and Jennifer Breen.

The Knight Crier staff hosted a Town Hall Debate to give all candidates a chance to express their views. Fortunately, four members of each team were able to participate. The two members on each team who were unable to attend were provided with an opportunity to provide an opening statement, which would be read aloud at the beginning of the Town Hall.

Brandi Marlin
Members of North Penn Neighbors for Progress discuss local politics.

Each candidate was introduced and then given the chance to present a one minute opening statement about themselves. Following that, the moderators-Alexis Bamford, Skyler Simpson, and Simeon Barrett- introduced a reader to give the audience a statement about an issue in our community. These statements provided background knowledge on the question that was then asked to the candidates. Each team was given a two minute response and then a one minute rebuttal; the team speaking first alternated.

The first topic was Facilities, presented by Prasham Jobanputra. After describing the different projects that are in action in the district, Jobanputra sent it back to the moderators who asked a question based on the information given. Following candidate responses, Jojo Dalwadi provided information on the second topic, budget philosophy. Angela Tessitore continued the town hall with the third topic: inclusion, class size, and learning environment. Candidates responded, and a fourth topic was then addressed by Hannah Nguyen:

Brandi Marlin
Candidates on the North Penn Views team present their positions on issues affecting the district.

diversity within the district. Finally, Erik Jesberger ended the night with the fifth and final topic, school safety and drug abuse. 

The night was a great success, as over 300 people either braved the rain to come in person or watched from home. This was the second ever Town Hall Debate at North Penn. As a staff, we want to thank everyone who participated and watched, and cannot wait to do this again in two years. Make sure to go out and vote on November 5th. 

To find your polling station, visit montcopa.org/voterservices.

To watch the full town hall visit youtube.com/nptv

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