The latest installment of our series of interviews with school director candidates across Pennsylvania brings us to the Central Bucks School District.
Glenn Schloeffel is running for school director in Region 3 of the Central Bucks School District, located in Bucks County. He is a registered Republican and currently works in sales.
Why are you running for the school board?
“I’ve lived in the Central Bucks School District (CBSD) since elementary school and graduated from Central Bucks East High School. My kids graduated from CBSD schools, and my nieces and nephews are attending or have graduated from CBSD schools. My children loved CBSD schools and want to stay in this area. I expect that my future grandchildren will most likely grow up here and also attend CBSD schools. We’ve had wonderful experiences in Central Bucks, and I want to serve our community so that we can continue to deliver this excellent education to current and future families, including mine.
“There are outside influencers right now trying to radically transform CBSD into something the majority of people who moved here for the schools will not want, and I certainly don’t want to see this negative impact on my family, neighbors, or the greater community. Central Bucks has a long history of academic excellence, and right now, there are many distractions undermining the district’s goals for providing all students with a supportive environment that enables our children to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. We need to stop the turmoil and return the focus to providing every child in the Central Bucks School District with a first-class, excellent education.”
What are the most important issues facing your district?
“We must address the learning loss due to the Covid response and shutdowns. I want to work with the CBSD administration to provide the board within 90 days with a plan that addresses this much-needed priority. During my previous tenure on the board, we expanded our Advanced Placement (AP) curriculum and saw consistent increases in our PSAA scores and rankings among school districts in Bucks County and Pennsylvania.
“We need to make it a priority that mental health resources in the district are adequately staffed and funded. Too many children in our district and across the country are still suffering from the aftermath of social isolation, anxiety, and mental health crises, which were exacerbated by the Covid response and also by the increase in social media usage and breakdown of their support system. We must prioritize addressing these deficits as a district and in partnership with reputable community organizations like NOVA Bucks (Network of Victim Assistance) to support all our students and provide them the tools to thrive as they navigate the unprecedented challenges that children and youth are facing growing up today.
“I am a strong advocate for parent and guardian rights within our school district. Education is a partnership between parents and teachers, with the end goal of providing the best possible educational outcomes for each individual child and family. Parents and educators can work together to help students reach their full potential. We need to prioritize School Resource Officers (SROs) throughout the district. Ensuring the safety and security of our students and staff must be paramount at all times. I fully supported the implementation of the SRO program at Central Bucks South when I was on the board from 2015 to 2019. A School Resource Officer program builds trust between students and law enforcement and supportive relationships while expanding community education initiatives that can also help combat the heroin crisis, bullying, and mental health crises.
“Once trust is built between the SROs and the students, students are much more likely to report bullying, drug addiction, and mental health crises, which often involve severe depression or thoughts of suicide, which in the past may have escalated without adult or school intervention. An SRO is a highly trained law enforcement professional who is equipped to handle the nuances of each school community. Schools that have their own full-time, dedicated SROs engaged in education and mentorship programs report fewer crimes. This is a win-win for our schools and the greater community.
“When I decided to run for school board again, full-time kindergarten was a top priority for me. This is one area where we can help recover the learning loss of young children, many of whom were born during or shortly after the pandemic and may have missed out on preschool or speech development. Full-day kindergarten is proven to boost academic achievement, with significant gains in reading and math, and can also improve social and emotional skills for kindergarteners. A longer academic day gives teachers and students more quality time for in-depth learning activities, providing opportunities for focused and independent learning. Full-day kindergarten will further support the educational excellence in CBSD.
“A top priority for me as a board member is to attract and retain the best teachers and support staff to our district. We must work creatively to continue bringing support staff to competitive market levels. Investing in our staff is an investment in our children’s education and our larger community.
“Middle Bucks Institute of Technology (MBIT) is a valuable asset for our Central Bucks students who want to obtain training and industry-recognized certifications, earn college credits, and explore a variety of career pathways. There are currently 21 career and technical programs that are available to our students who attend MBIT. As technology advances and future employers seek further technical training from their job candidates, we must support MBIT in the expansion of these offerings and opportunities for our students.
“Our board needs to focus on strong fiscal policy and responsibility. When I ran for my previous term, I pledged no tax increases during my term, and we delivered. Many of our CB families are under significant fiscal duress like we haven’t seen in quite some time, so I am making that same commitment for my term on the CBSD board. As a board, we need to make decisions that support academic excellence and the well-being of each student. I am committed to serving our students and taxpayers with civility, respect, and professionalism. Our school district’s business must be conducted in a transparent manner. I want to facilitate a return to civility so that we can all remain focused on the goal everyone should have — providing an excellent academic experience and a supportive environment that enables every child to reach their full potential in the Central Bucks School District.”
What is your professional background/experience? What skills would you bring to the board?
“I’ve lived most of my adult life in the CBSD community, moving here while I was in the third grade and attending Buckingham, Holicong, and CB East. I moved out for periods of time due to my service in the Navy and career relocations. My career was spent mostly in the pharmaceutical space, leading sales and operations teams. I am now in the contract manufacturing space, serving in a sales role.
“I previously served on the CBSD school board from 2015 to 2019, where I served as Vice President for one year and President for two years. I am very proud of the school board and the entire CBSD team’s accomplishments during my tenure, which helped to increase our students’ testing scores, brought more honors and advanced placement courses than at any time prior, enhanced our relationship with the community, and provided very equitable and sustainable labor contracts to our teachers and support staff. This was accomplished through teamwork with CBSD staff and the community and focusing on what’s important, not all the sideshow activities.”
Have you run for political office previously? Have you been politically active?
“I was previously elected to the school board and served from 2015 to 2019.”
Are you running with other candidates?
“Yes, I’m aligned with the Central Bucks Forward.”
What is the most important role of the school board, in your opinion?
“We need to get back to the basics and focus on what’s important to our community and our students, something that is missing now as outside influences are detracting from doing what our community does best: preparing our students for life. I strongly believe in keeping the high academic standards of CBSD, caring for every student, and being fiscally responsible to our taxpayers. If you moved to CBSD because of the schools, please vote for me and the Central Bucks Forward team to protect the excellent CBSD education you chose for your children! We did this before, and we will do it again!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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