The latest installment of our series of interviews with school director candidates across Pennsylvania brings us to the Southern Lehigh School District.

Timothy Kearney is running for school director in the Southern Lehigh School District, located in Lehigh County. He is a retired public school educator and registered Republican who won the Democratic nomination in the May primary.

Why are you running for the school board? 

“I dedicated myself to a career in education. Currently, our board lacks a public school employee perspective. I was asked by an educator in the district to run for office after he saw my knowledge, passion, and experience. I have a daughter in the district, and I want to set an example for her. I want to let her know that if she believes something is important, she should get involved.

“I believe education is important, and I want to be involved in hearing concerns and working on solutions with others. I am committed to fostering communication between parents and teachers, and increasing mental health resources for students.”

What are the most important issues facing your district?

“One major issue has been finger-pointing and fear replacing collaboration and cooperation. My emphasis as an educator was always on math and reading growth. I believe we need to support best practices in mental health. We need to help children understand their own emotions and how to get along with others. I also have experience with STEM, safety, the arts, and civics initiatives.”

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

“I was an elementary teacher for 33 years. I also was a building leader after receiving a principal’s certificate and a master’s degree from Lehigh University. I’ve prepared school budgets and supervised staff. I’ve worked with parents, students, and the community my entire career. I’ve worked on education issues at the individual, classroom, building, local, regional, state, national, and even international levels. In retirement, I work for the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge. We stress history, civics, and citizenship. I created a weekly education email newsletter that I’ve been sending for about three years. I’ve demonstrated knowledge, passion, and leadership in education.”

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

“I ran for the school board two years ago. I’ve gone to political meetings and the legislative offices of both major parties. I traveled to Harrisburg frequently to discuss education. I’ve attended education policy and business meetings across the entire United States, from Boston to San Diego, Texas to Minnesota. Politicians determine many things that happen in the classroom. I have been a voice for public education for many years.”

Are you running with other candidates?

“Yes. I’m running with Eric Boyer, Emily Gehman, and Candi Kruse. You can learn more about our campaign on our website.”

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

“I believe the school board’s purpose is to efficiently and effectively provide local direction to fulfill the purpose of public education. The Pennsylvania school code states that the purpose is to ‘prepare students to become self-directed, lifelong learners, and responsible, involved citizens.'”

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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