The Octorara Board of Directors held their Facilities and Policy Committees Meetings and Work Session Meeting was held on Monday, August 8, 2016. All members were in attendance.
Additionally. the Octroara School Board of Directors held a Special Meeting to interview and discuss candidates to replace Linda Bicking, who has announced she is resigning her position effective August 15, 2016. The Board received one qualifying candidate. Two other residents submitted their names, but they did not live within the actual voting Region.
Regardless, the Board received the resume of and submitted questions to William Kloss, Atglen resident for 7 years. Mr. Kloss received his Bachelor’s from Paul Smith’s College in Paul Smiths, New York, and a Master of Business Administration from Delaware Valley College in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Moreover, he has held progressive positions with Wawa Inc. and is currently a Project Manage for New Foodservice Initiatives.
In addition to his education and career background, Kloss has a history of community service that includes:
- Board of Deacons, Penningtonville Presbyterian Church
- Atglen Borough Zoning Board
- School District of Philadelphia: C&T Industry Advisor Committee Member
- OABEST Expo: Volunteer
- Good Works Inc.: Volunteer
- Philabundance Fare & Square Market: Consultant
From the interview process, I walked away with the impression that Mr. Kloss is committed to responsible budgets that balance educational excellence and fiscal restraint, ensuring an efficient use of taxpayers’ dollars. However, only time will tell how that translates into action and the actual positions he will take. Overall, at least on paper, Kloss has the potential to be an exceptional Board Member.
Dr. Newcome informed the Board of his experience with Mr.Kloss, and stated that Kloss was instrumental in facilitating Wawa’s participation with the OABEST Expo. Prior to his application, my only knowledge of Mr. Kloss was from a Board Meeting in 2013, but this was before I was a Board Member. Mr. Kloss spoke to the Board about the financial issues facing the District but attacked charter schools as a prime cause. Sheri Melton, a Board Member at the time, insisted that Dr. Newcome clear up some of Mr. Kloss’ misconceptions.
While the Board did vote to appoint Mr. Kloss until the next election, which will be in November 2017, he did not receive the position on his merits. Kloss asked during the Special Meeting what kind of person the Board was looking for, and the response from one member was, “a warm body,” This is the unfortunate reality. He was not the best candidate. He was the only candidate.
I appreciate that Mr. Kloss is willing to sacrifice his time and share his experience with the Octroara Area School District. I am also thankful to the 2 other candidates who submitted their resumes, but were ultimately not qualified because of being outside the voting Region. Nonetheless, this is another example of too few people willing to step up. Ultimately, the members of the Octorara Area School Board do not represent the will of the community, because there is no competition for these positions and voters have no choice. So, keep that in mind when the next wave of budget cuts and tax increases occur… just sayin.