Name: Patience Lehrman
Municipality: Marple Township
Running For: Marple Newtown School Director
Positions Held Previously/Years in Office:
- 3rd Ward Minority Inspector of Elections since 2009
What are the larger issues facing the district and how would you like to see them resolved?
A critical issue facing our district right now is the low academic ranking from the Pennsylvania Department of Education yearly performance report. Our elementary and middle school are performing at the state standards, however, our high school was below the state’s 2012 performance goals for reading, mathematics, and graduation rates. For more details please see the link:
With higher school rankings comes higher property values and a stronger local economy. To resolve this problem we need board members who are innovative thinkers, and can form partnerships with unlikely allies to create alternative solutions that leverage the collective human capital of all residents.
How would you create a balance between spending taxpayer dollars and quality education?
There is a misconception that the quality of education is directly proportionate to the amount of money infused in a school district. In an ever competitive economy, our students need adequate resources to form a strong academic foundation. By setting the right priorities and using our taxpayer dollars efficiently, we can ensure that our students will receive targeted academic support in the STEM disciplines and a well-rounded education.
How can you improve school district and board transparency with residents?
I think it is important to recognize the shared responsibility of all residents in educating the students of our school district. It’s crucial for the board to have an open agenda and provide opportunities for increased public engagement.
Why should residents give you their vote?
As a mother of two young children who attend Russell Elementary School and Paxon Hollow Middle School, the quality of the education they receive is of importance to me. I am passionate about the role of education in leveling the playing field for all children, and the responsibility we have as citizens to make sure that each child gets a quality education that prepares him/her to compete at a global level. I believe I am uniquely qualified for this role because I have a strong academic background in the educational arena coupled with more than 15 years of work experience. I graduated from Temple University where I earned three Masters Degrees: in Education, Adult and Organizational Development and an Executive MBA. As a recipient of the second highest civilian award by the Presidency of the United States, I would like to lend my skills and expertise in supporting a quality education for the students of this school district. If we work together we will restore the strong educational values that built this community. With your vote, I will be honored to serve on the school board.