School Board Looks out for SYCSD
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The Southern York County School District Board of Education is made up of nine members, who voluntarily serve for four-year terms in alternating four-year cycles- with no pay. Each member volunteers countless hours to ensure Southern York students receive the best education and technology possible, while also keeping taxes as low as possible for the community members who have to pay for them.
The nine members of the school board include President Robert Schefter, Vice President Dianne Masimore, Treasurer Bruce Bauman, Judi Fisher, Karen Hellwig, Allie Waldron, James Holley, Ron Groncki and Jerri Groncki.
President Robert Schefter
A graduate of Susquehannock High School, President Robert Schefter joined the school board to help make a difference in the community. He believes it is important that the board considers the taxpayers whenever any decisions are made because they are the people paying for them.
“Being on the school board is a great opportunity to do volunteer work, help in the community and to make sure we’re providing the best education we can in the district,” said Schefter.
Schefter has been a member of the school board for 15 years, and he believes that the board is important because they establish a budget for the district.
“One of the most important things we do is establish a budget, and that is very time consuming and difficult. We set what the budget is going to be, which in turn, we set what the taxes will be, the real estate taxes in our community. That’s very important because we want to provide the best facilities, teachers and education we can, but we also have to be very sensitive to the community members who are paying the taxes. We try to raise taxes as little as we can but still have a great educational program,” said Schefter.
When Schefter is not serving on the board, he enjoys attending his children’s sporting activities, reading, attending hot yoga classes with his wife and watching sports.
Vice President Dianne Masimore
Vice President Dianne Masimore believes it is important to be involved.
“I’m on the school board because…you can’t complain if you don’t care enough to get involved. Someone asked me to run for school board, and I really didn’t think that I was qualified to do it, but I found out that I really could do it. I feel like I get to make a difference,” said Masimore.
Masimore also believes that the school board is important because their goal is to make sure the students receive the best education possible, while also keeping it affordable for taxpayers.
“The first thing is to make sure that we provide the best education we possibly can for our students. The second important thing is that we consider the taxpayers who have to pay for it. We could put Cadillac’s in there for everybody, but then somebody has to pay for it. The only way we get our money is to raise taxes, and we have to be very conscious of that. We have to be fiscally responsible with the money that we do have and find the best way that we can spend it, but also to give our kids the best thing we can, as far as education and technology,” said Masimore.
Outside of being a member of the school board, she enjoys sewing, serving at church, spending time with her family and working.
Treasurer Bruce Bauman
Treasurer Bruce Bauman serves on the school board as a way to give back to the community and to make sure that the school district has the best possible faculty and staff.
“[It’s] an opportunity to serve and give back to the community,” said Bauman. “Our responsibility is to make sure that there are good, talented people in the administration and teaching positions and then to try and get out of the way and let them do their job.”
Bauman has been a member of the school board since 1999, and throughout the years he has served, he has seen many changes both within who is on the board and the dynamics of the board.
“I think the biggest change is the dynamic of the board. There’s a lot less conflict. There’s nobody with personal agendas. It’s a very pleasant body to serve on because the meetings are calm, everybody knows what we need to do, and even when we differ, we can differ and do it in a civilized way,” said Bauman.
In addition to serving on the school board, Bauman lives on a farm and finds that there is never a shortage of things to do. He also enjoys bicycle riding and serving at his church.
Judi Fisher joined the board to help provide the best education possible for the students in the Southern York County School District.
“I like being a part of a vision that’s been set forth by the administration and working to provide the best education we can for the children of our community,” said Fisher. “The school board is the governing branch that oversees that the policies and procedures set forth by not only the local district, but the state, are carried out for the betterment of the children’s education.”
Fisher has been on the board for 12 years and believes that the board is a very cohesive and team-oriented body to serve on.
“For the last 12 years, we’ve had the same group of people [on the board], and [we] work very well with the administration. We all believed in the vision that Dr. Hensley had when he came to the Southern York County School District, and we all work in a very team-oriented, cohesive manner, not only with each other but with the administration and the teachers of the school,” said Fisher.
Apart from the time Fisher serves on the school board, she enjoys politics, gardening, working around the house, woodworking and home decorating.
A member of the school board for 10 years, Karen Hellwig joined due to the importance of education within her family and also to help improve the already high-quality education provided by the school district.
“It means a great deal to me. I feel that our school district is very blessed in that we have an excellent school district, but that by me being on there, and participating and being as active as I can, I want to try and keep it as the high-quality education that it is and to make it even better. I want to keep our community members involved as well, and taxpayers,” said Hellwig. “Education has always been really important in my family. My mom was a professor, so education and the importance of it was always stressed.”
Hellwig believes that the school board is important because they approve of the programs for the district.
“We are very important because we help to approve various programs and policies, and it’s important that we have a positive relationship with the administration and with the students and parents, which we do, and that’s another reason why our school district is very fortunate,” said Hellwig.
Outside of being on the school board, Hellwig has a background in therapy and gets to work with many different people. She also enjoys running, reading, hiking and nature.
Allie Waldron is a part of the board because he believes education is important to not only the school district but also the entire country.
“I enjoy being around the students and the teachers. I feel that it’s part of my responsibility to return something to the community, and this was a good way to do it. I always believed that education was one of the things that made our country as strong as it is,” said Waldron.
A member of the school board for 10 years, Waldron sees the importance of the school board as making sure everything runs effectively and efficiently within the school, while also keeping taxes as low as possible.
“The school board sets a tone for how the school is run. We are fortunate we have very good administration, very good faculty and a pretty good school, and we all work together very well. I think that our main importance is to keep the school running efficiently and keep it so the taxpayers can afford it,” said Waldron.
Waldron enjoys golfing, going to the rotary club, woodworking and reading during his free time.
A graduate of Susquehannock High School, James Holley has been on the school board for 11 years and finds that it has served as an opportunity to give back to the school.
“I graduated from Susquehannock back in 1960, and I got a lot out of the school. I just wanted to give something back, and I felt that was a good way to do it when the opportunity arose, and maybe I could help make a difference,” said Holley.
Holley believes that the school board is important because they choose the people who will be on the staff and help handle financial situations within the school.
“Our main function is to ensure the right policies are established and in effect and to hire the leaders of the administration. Hopefully, we’ve picked the right people to get a staff and carry on the operation of the school from there. Then when it comes time to finance any projects, in case there’d be a bond issue, you’d need an entity that’s capable of doing that by law, and the school board is the entity that takes care of that,” said Holley.
Apart from his time spent serving on the school board, Holley has a degree in geological engineering, which he received from the Colorado School of Mines in 1964. He also enjoys golfing, reading and traveling with his wife.
Ron Groncki believes that education is very important, and that by being on the school board, he can help to provide students with the best education and technology as possible.
“As far as the governing, think of it as a mild-mannered governing body. We’re looking to outfit the school district with administration and teachers of the highest quality so that our students get the best,” said Groncki.
Although Groncki has only been on the board for eight years, he has attended meetings for several years alongside his wife, Jerri Groncki, who is also a member of the school board.
“My wife has been on the school board for 23 years. I’m basically filling in and supporting what I’ve observed over 18 or 19 years as a spectator of each meeting because my wife was attending it. When there was a vacancy, I applied for it, and I got it to the effect of helping to additionally support them,” said Groncki.
Groncki enjoys camping, fishing and taking his children and grandchildren hunting on a regular basis during his free time.
Jerri Groncki joined the board because she understands the importance of education. She was a teacher for many years, and due to the time she spent teaching, she knows how important education is in preparing students for their futures.
“I was a teacher. I started down in Baltimore City years and years ago, and I’ve just found that now that I’m not teaching, it’s kind of a way to give back to the community. I think you need some people on the board who come from various walks of life who can put in different ideas so that the program we select for the district is very appropriate for the students that go there,” said Groncki. “It’s a leadership position that guides the school overall and what sort of programs we’re going to offer our students. That’s important because they’re making some very important decisions now, and they need the background to help them with those decisions when they graduate from college, regardless of what they’re going to do afterwards. It’s important that the board goes through the program and makes sure that it’s appropriate for our students at this time.”
Groncki has been on the board for 23 years and has seen tremendous changes in how the board is run. She believes that the current board is cohesive and is able to disagree in a way that is still productive and efficient.
“When I got on in 1993, there was a lot of animosity in the community over the taxes that were being raised every year, and a lot of information was not being explained completely to the community. There was a lot of animosity between the community and the board, and even between members of the board because they were on there for different reasons,” said Groncki. “Over the years, I can say that it has [become] a very smooth running engine at this point, and I believe things really started to turn around when Dr. Hensley became the superintendent. We’re not on the board because we have an agenda. We’re on the board because we all have the same agenda. It doesn’t mean we always agree, but we work together…Now, with the superintendent Dr. Lemmon, and also Dr. Hensley, they’ve brought a unity to the board.”
Apart from the hours she spends serving on the board, Groncki enjoys reading, crocheting and solving puzzles.