Attendees of Exeter Township School Board meetings will be seeing a new face around.The Exeter Township School Board unanimously appointed Andrea Sandusky, after interviewing her and Linda Focht, during a special meeting on Sept. 2.
Michael Gambone recently resigned which is why the board appointed a new member.
A main reason Sandusky was picked was because board members said they wanted someone that was going to stay for a while and run for election when the time comes.
The school board members interviewed Sandusky first. Focht was interviewed second.
School board members asked Sandusky why she was interested in being a member. They took turns asking her questions.
"Because I'm nuts," she joked, getting some laughs from the members. "I've worked in many different aspects with the school district and I've been on this side of the school board for many years yelling and screaming."
She said she felt it was her time to join the board and work to resolve issues they face.
"My children are a little older," Sandusky said. "I still have two in the district which I think would be a plus to have a parent on the board with the feelers into the schools."
Sandusky said another reason was that she could help out on the financial side. She said that she and her husband have a business. She helps her husband run the business and performs bookkeeping.
Board member Ken Hart asked Sandusky what she thought the board's shortcomings were and how she was going to help.
Sandusky again explained she thought it was a while since the school board has had a member that had children.
"I don't have any ins with the township to be able to say I can be able to work with them to resolve some of those issues," Sandusky said.
Board member David Bender, who has served on the board for 25 years asked Sandusky about how long she planned on being with the board if she were appointed.
"Continuity is pretty important on the board because it takes a while to learn how the board operates," Bender said. "Looking into the future, do you anticipate running for the board position after this short term expires?"
Sandusky said she would and that she understands issues evolve over time and that she will need some training.
Carole Kutscher asked, "What is your opinion on our current dilemma on locating land for the new school?"
Sandusky said, "I think it's really a tough decision. I supported the board on the property on Ritter Road and I really thought that would be the pass and I was really shocked when all the legal obstacles got thrown up and it really irritated me. At this point I haven't really followed it since that happened."
Russel Diesinger, vice president of the school boar, thanked Sandusky for her application.
Diesinger said one of the major reasons Gambone resigned is because it required more time than he had originally thought. He said it takes a lot of time and that to be a successful member, they need her to attend all meetings.
Sandusky said when she commits to something, she really commits.
David Bender asked, "How do you feel about raising taxes vs. cutting programs?"
Sandusky said, "I've have been very pro-education because of my children being in the district. But if it came down to it, I am also a businesswoman, and I understand when the money isn't there, there are things that you cannot do."
She said that she's also a homeowner so the decisions the board makes, affects her too.
When the taxes go up, she said she "has to dig a little deeper."
School board members asked Focht the same questions as Sandusky.
They asked her why she wanted to serve on the board.
Focht explained that she has been to many school board and township meetings. She has spoken her mind before at school board meetings.
"I see the issues on both sides," she said. "I guess a lot of times, to be perfectly honest I'm not always happy with some of the decisions you make here and when this opening came up I thought I can sit back and complain about people not doing things the way I think they should be done or I can make the effort to get involved and try to contribute something."
She said then at least she would gain a better understanding of why they do the things they do.
Hart asked the same question about what the board's shortfalls were and how she could help them.
"The thing that pops into my mind is the issue of the placement of the new school but it's not just that," she said.
She said that the main thing that frustrates her is that the township and the school board doesn't get along and they both don't want to cooperate with each other.
"I would like to see more willingness on both sides," she said.
Sandusky was sworn in on Sept. 3 at the school's administration building located off of Perkiomen Avenue.