5 seek 4 seats on board

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

There are five peo­ple run­ning for four open seats on the Pottsgrove School Board.

In­cum­bents Rick Rabi­nowitz, Matt Alexan­der and Robert Lind­gren are seek­ing to re­tain their seats, while chal­lengers Charles Nip­pert and Scott Hutt are hop­ing to take two seats for them­selves.

All but two of the can­di­dates are cross-filed, mean­ing they will ap­pear on both the Repub­li­can and the Demo­cratic bal­lot.

Rabi­nowitz won the Demo­cratic bal­lot line in the spring pri­mary and Lind­gren the Repub­li­can.

In his can­di­date re­sponse, Rabi­nowitz, 54 and a tech­ni­cal re­cruiter with a mas­ter’s de­gree in busi­ness ad­min­is­tra­tion, wrote that he de­cided to run for of­fice be­cause “I had a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of con­cerns with the school district and with the board that over­sees it. I felt that many voices in the school district were not be­ing heard, and I pledged to rep­re­sent those peo­ple to the best of my abil­ity.”

Rabi­nowitz, who served one year as the board pres­i­dent, also wrote “I be­lieve that the district has done a de­cent job, par­tic­u­larly in the last year of ad­dress­ing my ini­tial con­cerns. Morale at the district is greatly in­creased. We’ve man­aged to add im­por­tant cour­ses and hold taxes steady with­out cut­ting pro­grams.”

He wrote that his “num­ber one goal will be to con­tinue to hold taxes steady while see­ing through the trans­for­ma­tion of Pottsgrove to a school district of choice.”

In his re­sponse, Hutt 33, wrote that he de­cided to run be­cause “there are many dif­fer­ent are­nas in which I could have cho­sen to ded­i­cate my time but this po­si­tion af­fords me the abil­ity to en­hance our stand­ing within the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem while quelling the seem­ingly never end­ing tax bur­den.”

He is a para­le­gal with McDon­nell & As­so­ci­ates, P.C. and holds a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in po­lit­i­cal science from Kutz­town Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia

Hutt has “seven years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the le­gal field rang­ing from bank­ruptcy to com­plex civil lit­i­ga­tion and holds a mas­ter’s of pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion from Vil­lanova Univer­sity, where he is a cur­rent stu­dent.”

He said his goal, if elected is “in short, to have a top tier aca­demic in­sti­tu­tion with­out bankrupt­ing it’s com­mu­nity.”

Nip­pert, 70, who with his wife has lived in the district since 1976 and raised four chil­dren there, wrote in his re­sponse that he run­ning be­cause “Pottsgrove is chang­ing and the school district must work with com­mis- sion­ers and plan­ners so that we can con­tinue to pro­vide qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion at rea­son­able tax rates. I think that my ex­pe­ri­ence as a par­ent and univer­sity pro­fes­sor in a tech­ni­cal field pro­vides both pro­fes­sional and per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence for serv­ing on the Pottsgrove School Board.”

Nip­per holds a PhD in chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing from Le­high Univer­sity and is semi-re­tired, cur­rently teach­ing as an as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus at Wi­dener Univer­sity, where he served on the fac­ulty for 35 years.

“I served seven years as chair­per­son of the depart­ment of chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing. Also, I am a li­censed pro­fes­sional en­gi­neer, he wrote. “Fi­nally, I am a par­ent, ‘empty nester’ and grand­par­ent to three grand­chil­dren.”

If elected, Nip­pert said his most im­por­tant goals are to”keep taxes low by join­ing with com­mis­sion­ers and plan­ners as the area is de­vel­oped” and “im­prove science and tech ed­u­ca­tion in our schools.”

In his re­sponse, Alexan­der wrote that “when I de- cided to run four years ago, I felt that taxes and spend­ing were out of con­trol in the district. Test scores and our district per­for­mance over­all had dropped sig­nif­i­cantly since my fam­ily moved here in 2002. I felt that my many years in qual­ity and op­er­a­tions man­age­ment gave me the ex­pe­ri­ence needed to help guide the district to bet­ter fis­cal re­spon­si­bil­ity and growth through data driven de­ci­sion mak­ing.”

Alexan­der is a so­lu­tion con­sul­tant with Veeva Sys­tems.

If re­elected, Alexan­der wrote that his pri­or­ity would be to “con­tinue what was started 4 years ago and see Pottsgrove be­come a district of choice in our area.”

In his re­sponse, Lind­gren, 53, wrote that he is run­ning “to give back to the Pottsgrove com­mu­nity.”

He is a civil en­gi­neer with a bach­e­lor’s de­gree.

If he is re­elected, Lind­gren said his pri­or­ity is “to em­pha­size and im­prove aca­demic rigor i n cour­ses and rec­og­nize stu­dent and teacher achieve­ments.”

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