Stern retains presidency on Lehighton School Board
Larry Stern retained presidency of the Lehighton Area School District board of directors Wednesday night after a narrow 5-4 vote.
Stern, who was nominated by Rita Spinelli, was up against Joy Beers, who was nominated by Richard Beltz.
Before the vote, Director David Bradley spoke out against Stern, who has been president for the past two years, calling his term, “riddled with turmoil.”
“We need to get back to fidelity and honoring the oath of office,” Bradley said. “Joy has experience. She’s run many organizations in the past on a national level.”
Prior to Bradley speaking, resident Dave Krause asked the board for “continued strong and experienced leadership with more emphasis on meeting decorum and civility.”
“Members of the public have been silenced because one board member monopolizes 90 percent of the meeting,” Krause said. “Who can afford to wait for hours to voice their opinions when people have work and families to take care of. And if they have to time to hang around or speak, they are interrupted and attacked.”
Krause urged the board to elect a leader who would “put an end to personal attacks, name calling, and bullying and harassment of staff.”
Beers touted her own leadership credentials in a pitch for the presidency, saying that Bradley has a history of running off at the mouth.
“There are times I don’t think he should talk as much as he does and I would have cut him off,” Beers told fellow board members. “I have worked with diverse groups that had disagreements and have been able to get everyone together through doing research and finding facts and bringing everyone’s interests forward.”
Stern received votes from himself, Wayne Wentz, Spinelli, Stephen Holland and board newcomer Nathan Foeller.
Voting for Beers were herself, Bradley, Beltz and Gail Maholick.
“Thank you for the vote of confidence,” Stern said of the result.
An identical 5-4 vote saw Spinelli get the vice president post over Maholick.
Foeller, by a 6-3 vote, was appointed as the board’s representative on the Carbon Career and Technical Institute joint operating committee over Maholick.
Holland was appointed as the alternate to that committee.