NEWTOWN SQUARE–The Marple Newtown School Board voted in a new president at Monday night's reorganization meeting. Four-year school board director Kathryn Chandless replaced the seat formerly occupied by David McGinley.
McGinley has served as president of the Marple Newtown School Board for approximately six years. Chandless has served on the board as the chair of the Human Resources Committee last year.
School Board Director Rob Sack made a motion to appoint Chandless for board presidency. The motion was approved 7-2 with School Board Directors McGinley and John McDevitt voting against the motion.
"I want to also say 'thank you' to Dave [McGinley] because he has worked tirelessly as president and he did fantastic things...and I really do appreciate that," said Chandless.
School Board Director Fred Dewey congratulated Chandless and addressed the public, "Tonight was the first time this board could take concrete action to show that we heard you last Tuesday and a seven-person majority showed you that we acknowledge your concerns."
A couple of former school board directors also addressed the board with the new appointment and thanked McGinley for his dedicated leadership to the district.
"I want to thank all the members of the past board and present board that brought this [Marple Newtown High School renovations project] into fruition, especially Dave McGinley, who has was board president, he was the guy that got the project moving, brought folks in, and got it started," stated Newtown Township Supervisor Ed Partridge. "And John McDevitt who has spent a year and a half of his life on a daily basis up at the high school. Thanks to the board members and administration–great job."
Former School Board Director Dana Kauffman congratulated Chandless and also addressed McGinley for his years of service, who served as president on the board for four years while Kauffman served.
"I agree with Ed [Partridge]. I really think you [McGinley] had a vision on how to get a project moving, how to get it finished, and I'm not sure it would've hit the date if it weren't for you," said Kauffman. "It was really a pleasure and honor to have the front-row seat to watch you do what you did."
Chandless stated a couple of her main and immediate goals as president will be to assess the capital needs in the district as well as the $70 million budget.
"We need to obviously assess what our needs are and there is always a need. We need to come up with a priority list. We need to make sure we spend money in the right place and what's right for the kids and the district" said Chandless about capital improvements in the district.
She continued, "The budget is always an issue. The parents need to know need to know the issues before we come to vote. I want the board to work together with the parents and the district on the budget through focus groups."
In addition, Nancy Galbraith, 12-year and four-term school board director, was re-elected as vice president 8-1 with McDevitt holding the lone nay. Galbraith's seat will be up for grabs next year and confirmed with Marple Newtown Patch that she will not running in next year's election.
"It's time. I promised my husband that when he retires, I'll retire. That was our promise. And he just retired. But I'll still be involved and sit here in the audience," said Galbraith after the meeting.
The other seats up for re-election next year include McGinley, Chandless, McDevitt, and Jim Lanzalotto, who was appointed by the board to temporarily replace the vacant seat of former School Board Director and current Newtown Township Solicitor Richard Sokorai.