Pottsgrove Choices: Seven Candidates for One Vacancy

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – A total of seven candidates, several more than were initially expected, publicly expressed interest Tuesday (Jan. 25, 2022) in being selected to fill a vacancy on the Pottsgrove school board. Each explained why they considered themselves as the best choice for the job to be chosen by the remaining eight board members, who now have two weeks in which to make their pick.

All seek to complete two years of the elected term of office left by former school director Bill Parker, who moved from the district. Listed in the order they were introduced to the board are:

  • Denise Takakjy of Lower Pottsgrove, a licensed professional counselor;
  • Robert W. Boyce of Lower Pottsgrove, a retired advanced sciences teacher and former manager of the Limerick Generating Station;
  • Kevin Hitt Jr. of Upper Pottsgrove, director of information technology services for Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. of Wyomissing;
  • Tony Bickert of Lower Pottsgrove, assistant director of technology in the North Penn School District, and former technology director at Pottsgrove;
  • Bill Thompson of Upper Pottsgrove, an active participant in community theater productions;
  • Andrew Korman of Upper Pottsgrove, an area sales manager for Primo Water North America; and
  • Debbie Remelius of Upper Pottsgrove, a former substitute teacher at Pottsgrove and a volunteer at Barth Elementary School in Pottstown.

All were asked the same three questions posed on behalf of the board by Superintendent Dr. David Finnerty, who moderated the interviews. They can be seen and heard in the opening portion of a video of the board meeting (above), broadcast Tuesday by The PCTV Network at its YouTube channel here.

Each also was asked to write answers to other questions posed in questionnaires prepared by the board and posted on the district website, here. They are linked as well to the boldfaced names that appear in the list above.

On three occasions, board members themselves posed a single additional question. The public interviews averaged about six minutes per candidate.

Board President Al Leach told Pottsgrove audiences, live at its meeting in Pottsgrove High School as well as virtually on Zoom and YouTube, that the length of Parker’s vacancy prompted school directors to find ways that would ensure the public participated in the selection process. The questionnaires, he said, were being offered as one of those methods.

The Post is preparing additional articles for publication with specifics of the interviews.

Also Tuesday, the school board:

  • Encouraged members of the public who were interested to join a team tasked with creating the district’s comprehensive plan, published every three years and next due by March 30. They should contact Director of Education and Assessment Daniel Vorhis by e-mail at dvorhis@pgsd.org, or talk with a school building principal;
  • Tabled actions for later discussion, during its Feb. 8 meeting at Pottsgrove Middle School, a proposal to transfer $5 million from its committed fund balance savings to its capital projects fund in anticipation of building maintenance and repairs next year; and
  • Approved the 2022-2023 academic year calendar.

Editor’s Note: This story was revised Jan. 26 at 9:58 a.m. to reflect the availability of the candidates’ written answers to board questionnaires.

Photo provided by The PCTV Network from its broadcast of the school board meeting