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

John Gehman is running for school director in the Upper Perkiomen School District, located in Montgomery and Berks counties. He is a registered Republican and owns and manages a local golf course.

Why are you running for the school board? 

“I’m running because our district has tumbled academically, morale is below poor, leadership appears to be lacking, and the agenda of left-wing social ideology needs to be stopped before getting a foothold in our school district.”

What are the most important issues facing your district?

“Taxpayer funding is always at or near the top. Student achievement right now needs to be the number one priority. Developing or hiring true leaders needs to be another priority.”

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

“I’ve been managing my family business for over 30 years. I was on my township’s planning commission for nineteen years, prior to a twenty-year tenure on the Upper Perkiomen School District board. I presided over both for a few years. I’ve been off the school board for six years. Additionally, I have been on the boards of various trade associations.”

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

“I served five previous school board terms in the Upper Perkiomen School District. The township planning commission was an appointed position. That is pretty much the limit of my political activity.”

Are you running with other candidates?

“Yes, I am running with four other candidates, including Mike Long, Trina Schaarschmidt, Liz Fluckey, and Sarah Bieber. We are running as a slate under the group Up to the Challenge.”

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

“The most important role of the school board is to oversee the smooth operation of the school district. Hold staff accountable for student achievement. Ensure that taxpayers are receiving an appropriate value for their tax dollars.”

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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