EMMAUS, Pa. – The East Penn Board of School Directors welcomed three new members during a special board meeting Monday night.
The oaths of office were administered to elected board members Alisa Bowman and Michael Felegy at the meeting's outset.
The board then interviewed six candidates to fill a third vacancy created by the resignation of Ken Bacher, eventually electing Jennifer Bowen.
In December, the school board rescinded the resignation of Bacher, who announced his plans to retire in November, so that he could temporarily remain on the board and keep a quorum. Election results in the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas race were being contested, preventing election results from being certified in every race in the county, including those of school boards.
In addition to Bowen, the candidates for the vacancy created by Bacher's final resignation were: Paul Barbehenn, Shonta Ford, Timothy Kelly, Matthew Mull, and Matt Prudente.
Each candidate sat side by side behind two long tables and responded to questions from directors on a variety of topics.
Questions included how to foster more inclusion moving forward in the district, how to personalize education for each student, how to provide a quality education while being a good steward of taxpayers' money, and what is the biggest challenge currently facing the district, among others.
In other reorganization business, Joshua Levinson was elected school board president and Jeffrey Jankowski was appointed vice president.
Changes to school wellness policy
In other news, the board approved updating a policy on school wellness. The revisions include designating that the district's nutrition education will extend "beyond the school environment" by making resources available for families and the community. Previously, the policy only "engaged and involved" families and the community.
Another change deleted a portion of EPSD's policy on physical education. The deleted portion noted that "physical activity shall not be used or withheld solely as a form of punishment."
Additional edits involved a sentence on student nutrition. The deletion read that "the district shall support the efforts of parents/guardians to provide a healthy diet and daily physical activity for children by communicating relevant information through various methods."
East Penn School District's next board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 24.