The latest installment of our series of interviews with school director candidates across Pennsylvania brings us to the West Chester Area School District.
Nick Spangler is running for school director in Region 1 of the West Chester Area School District, located in Chester County. He is a registered Republican and a retired special education teacher and learning and development analyst. Currently, he works part time as a licensed massage therapist and Reiki Master.
Why are you running for school board?
“I was approached by a friend and encouraged to run based on my background in education and interest in youth development. I wasn’t sure if I should run because I am retired and my children have already gone through the school system. However, my grandchildren are now school-aged, so I decided to pursue running as a candidate because I want to see improved educational outcomes for the next generation of learners. With a background in education and a history of board service, I believe that I am a sound candidate for the West Chester board of directors.”
What are the most important issues facing your district?
“The most important issue facing our district is low academic achievement. There has been a steady decline in academic performance, starting before Covid and growing worse through the school closures. There are a multitude of social issues overshadowing student academic growth and achievement.”
What is your professional background/experience? What skills would you bring to the board?
“I earned a Bachelor of Science in special education, a Master of Arts in education and school administration, as well as a postgraduate certification in school administration from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I am a Level II certified special education teacher, and I taught in public schools for six years. Subsequently, I enjoyed a second career in the insurance industry and retired as a learning and development analyst. After retiring from my full-time job in 2018, I started working part time as a licensed massage therapist and Reiki Master practitioner.
“Additionally, I served on the school board budget planning committee for the Millcreek School District in Erie. I have further board experience with General Electric, Hammermill Paper, the Penn Lakes Girl Scout Council, Edinboro University, the Knauer Theater in West Chester, and the Church of the Holy Trinity. I also have many years of experience in counseling, training, curriculum development and measurement, and analysis for learning programs.”
Have you run for political office previously? Have you been politically active?
“This is my first time running for office, and I have not been particularly politically active.”
Are you running with other candidates?
“Yes, I am running alongside four other candidates in West Chester. We are all supported by Back to Basics West Chester. Our platform consists of six pillars: school safety, academic excellence, fiscal accountability, transparency, parents as partners in their child’s education, and keeping politics out of the classroom. We are concerned citizens who care about the developmental growth of our youth.”
What is the most important role of the school board, in your opinion?
“The most important role of the school board is the overarching responsibility of governing established school policies, rules, and regulations. The primary focus should be a commitment to student academic achievement and student and staff safety.”
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 email@example.com for more information.
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