The third installment of our series of interviews with school director candidates across the state.

Lisa Licwinko-Engleman is running for school director in the Norristown Area School District, located in Montgomery County. She is a registered Democrat (though nominated on the Republican ticket) and an active member of her community.

Why are you running for school board?

“I am running for school board to evoke positive change. There is a huge disconnect within my district between the board and our community. The current board members have lost sight of prioritizing academics and focusing on graduating well-rounded individuals who are prepared for life after high school.”

What are the most important issues facing your district?

“The most important issues facing our district are learning loss, disciplinary issues, and school safety.

“According to, only 31 percent of Norristown students are proficient in reading and only eighteen percent are proficient in math. Board members have to work alongside our teachers to develop plans to address the low proficiency rates, implement and follow the plans, and then measure the results.

“We also need to reach out to the community to provide extra resources to students who continuously violate our policies and procedures and create a difficult learning environment for other students and our teachers. We need to reassure parents that we are taking school safety seriously and put multiple procedures in place. We need to work collaboratively with law enforcement to anticipate any and all potential threats and be prepared to react. Every student and teacher deserves to feel safe at school.”

What is your professional background/experience? What skills would you bring to the board?

“I am a passionate mom of seven children who has volunteered within the schools in many capacities. I have worked alongside our Norristown teachers and staff for twenty years. For almost 25 years, I have coached multiple sports for different townships, ran youth programs, and volunteered in various ways. I am known as “that mom” who shows up for every event and supports all the kids in the community.

“My “mom” experience helps me relate to students of all ages. Working with parents and children for so long has taught me patience and a different level of understanding. Now that my children are older, I see the importance of education, sports, trades, and extracurricular activities and how it shapes them for adulthood. With the constant exposure to social media, even in a school setting, we need to keep our children engaged, motivated, and excited. Once our students begin to thrive, the parents and our community will follow.”

Have you run for political office previously? Have you been politically active?

“I ran for school director in the Norristown Area School District two years ago. I was not politically active prior to school closures and have no interest in any other political office.”

Are you running with other candidates?

“I am not running with any other candidates because I am the only candidate willing to ask the tough questions and not always be another “yes” vote. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and get this district back on track.”

What is the most important role of the school board in your opinion?

“One of the most important roles of a school board member is to ensure fiscal responsibility and transparency. Why not allow the community to access a detailed budget so they can see how their money is spent?

“Another important role is listening to students, teachers, staff, parents and your community. When you are aware of what is happening within your schools, you can better serve for success.”

We contacted the Democratic and Republican committees in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Montgomery counties and asked them to share the questions with their school director candidates. Broad + Liberty will post the responses throughout the summer to assist voters in learning about the candidates running in their district. The series is open to any school director on the ballot in November. Please contact for more information.

Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @BroadAndLiberty

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