After four votes, no small amount of confusion and much back-and-forth among existing board members, the Spring Grove Area School Board settled on a new member Wednesday night.

Todd Staub was chosen out of five candidates by a 5-2 vote -- Emily Sindlinger was absent and the board was one member short after the Jan. 23 resignation of Michael Brookhart, who was moving out of the district.

The other candidates were Karen Baum and Raymond Sherry. Baum, who is a retiree for the district, initially received four votes, Staub three, and Sherry two.

Chairman Douglas Stein then opened the nominations for discussion.

There were a few votes because of confusion over the number of candidates each member could vote for.

Board members then gave short speeches in favor of their candidates. Douglas White spoke in favor of Staub, saying, "I nominated Todd because the board said it wanted someone with children in the school district and also because of his business sense."

Board member David Trettel added that he thought someone with grown children who had attended the district's schools would be equally well-suited.

Board member Eric Cable made the motion to drop the candidate with the fewest votes -- in this case, Sherry -- and that motion passed unanimously.

Trettel said he would rather have someone on the board "who hasn't been ... on the payroll, an employee of the district for so long. I feel the school board should be outside the district."


Advertisement

Board member Brent Hoschar said that he could see Trettel's point but said he sees someone who has "understanding of the workings of the district (as) an asset."

Now left with only two candidates, Baum and Straub, the board did another vote. This time it was three for Baum and four for Staub. Stein suggested tabling the decision until the next meeting, but Hoschar said he would change his vote from to Staub to make the necessary five votes.

With that, Staub was sworn in and the board went on with the rest of its meeting.

After the meeting, Staub said, "I feel good. I know it's an interim position. I'm pleased I got on the board."

He plans to seek election to the board for a full-term, he added. He brings to the board a strong finance background and has been the treasurer of the athletics booster club for about one and a half years.

A previous version of this story included incorrect information about Karen Baum. She is a retiree, not a current employee.