Contested races in 3 regions for Boyertown School Board
The Boyertown Area School Board race features contests in Regions 1, 2 and 3.
In Region 1, which includes Bally and Bechtelsville boroughs and the townships of Earl, Colebrookdale and Washington, three candidates are seeking two open seats.
Robert Caso is the only incumbent and he will appear on the Republican ballot line. Rodney Boyer will appear on the Democratic ballot line and former board member Ruth Dierolf holds both a Republican and Democratic ballot line.
Boyer, 61, is a member of the Washington Township Zoning Hearing Board and is a retired public school educator who worked in the field for 34 years, according to his candidate response.
He holds a master’s degree in educational administration and conducted post graduate studies in learning theory.
In his response, Boyer wrote that he decided to run “to ensure a great education for my daughter and all of the students of the Boyertown Area School District.”
His most important goal is “to ensure the best education for our students. That includes all academic areas and the various programs and activities for which the school district is known.”
Caso, 61, is a certified public accountant, a chief financial officer, and holds a master’s degree in business administration/finance.
In his response, he wrote that he is running “to give my constituents a voice on the Board they otherwise would not have.”
If elected, Caso wrote that his priority is to “improve academics.”
In her response, Dierolf, who declined to provide her age, wrote that she is running “because I never stopped caring about our students, teachers and our community. Our bond rating has just been downgraded, which shows that the board needs help in fiscal management. We need to put our money to educating our students, not fancy building projects that do not produce additional academic space. We certainly need to keep our schools in good repair, which we have been, contrary to comments that have been made.”
A Boyertown Area Senior High School graduate, Dierolf is a retired business- woman. She served for 12 years on Boyertown School Director as well as being a member of the Berks County Youth Aid Council.
If elected, Dierolf wrote that her priority would be “to direct our money away from ‘nice to have’ building projects back to the classroom, giving teachers the ability to teach our children with the best methods they know. Too much time is spent teaching to tests and trying new fads.”
Region 2, which straddles the county line and includes Boyertown and Douglass (Berks) Township on the Berks County side and voting Districts 2, 3 and 4 in Douglass (Mont.), has two candidates seeking one open seat.
Jill Dennin, the incumbent, will appear on the Democratic ballot line and her opponent, Dana Knowlton, on the Republican line.
In her candidate response, Dennin, 55, wrote that she is running because “All 4 of my children received an excellent, wellrounded education from the Boyertown Schools and I want to ensure that all future students continue to have the same opportunities that my children had. I consider it an opportunity to serve my community and advocate for public education.”
Dennin, who is seeking a second term, is a parttime substitute teacher and comfort keeper. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and public policy
Her most important goal for a second term is to “hire a superintendent who has the skills and experience to lead this district ensuring that all students who graduate from Boyertown are career or college ready and prepared to succeed in a changing world.”
In his response, Knowlton wrote that he decided to run “to give back to the community and improve performance for the students.”
A consultant with a master’s degree in business administration and finance, Knowlton wrote that he has “20 plus years in executive management operations and an extensive sales and marketing history.”
If elected, Knowlton wrote that his most important goals are “improved academics and responsible spending.”
There is also a contested race in Region 3, which includes Douglass (Mont.) voting district 1 (residents living north of the Middle Creek) as well as New Hanover and Upper Frederick townships.
In that race Brandon Foose, who will appear on the Democratic line, is facing Roger Updegrove on the Republican line.
Foose, 33, graduated from Boyertown Area Senior High School in 2002 and Duke University i n 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. He works as a compliance solutions lead for “a major pharmaceutical company.”
“I’ve been a wrestling coach for 10 years at both the high school and youth levels. My volunteer work includes efforts with the NHUF PTO, local sprue teams, Boyertown Music League, Foundation for Boyertown Education, and as an alumni interviewer for Duke University,” Foose wrote in his response to an election questionnaire. “These, along with my professional career in science and process improvement, give me a well-rounded perspective on the merger between strong schools and a strong community.”
“I received a quality education with ample opportunities and want to ensure that others receive the same. After attending board meetings for a few years, I felt that we could do better, and that our chil- dren deserve better. I want to empower our teachers and inspire our students,” Foose wrote.
“I’ve seen far too much political posturing and grandstanding, but very little in the way of thoughtful solutions,” Foose wrote.
He said his most i mportant goal is to face the “very real budgetary challenges facing public schools and the only way to address them is by working together toward a common goal — enabling all students to succeed in a changing world. When we lose sight of that goal we sacrifice our future.”
In his candidate response, Updegrove, 66, wrote that he is running “To boost our student academic outcome. To ensure all students have the skill sets needed to become competent ethical adults.”
Updegrove owned and operated a small business for more than 25 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
If elected, he wrote that his priority is “to improve governance of our administration to ensure we achieve the overall district goals.”