AP NEWS

9 Candidates Seek W-B Area School Board Seats

March 13, 2019

WILKES-BARRE — Four incumbents and five challengers filed as primary election candidates for the Wilkes-Barre Area School Board.

The incumbents are the Rev. Shawn Walker, Dr. James Susek, John Quinn and Mark Atherton. The challengers are Terry Schiowitz, Debbie Orlando Formola, Beth Anne Owens-Harris, Bob Holden and Robin Shudak.

The nine candidates filed financial-interest forms at the school district administration by Tuesday’s deadline.

Five seats on the board are up for election this year.

Members of Save Our Schools, the group that has opposed the high school consolidation plan in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District, have posted messages on the group’s Facebook page in support of the challengers.

Incumbent James Geiger did not file as a candidate. His term expires in December.

The current school board has approved a plan to borrow up to $137.3 million to fund the construction of a new high school between Maffett and North Main streets in Plains Twp. The new high school will allow the consolidation of all three district high schools — Meyers, GAR and Coughlin — during the 2021-22 school year.

The school district opened construction bids for the project last Friday. The school board plans to award contracts from the bids at the next meeting on March 27.

Quinn and Susek are the only candidates who don’t live in Wilkes-Barre. Quinn is from Wilkes-Barre Twp., and Susek is from Plains Twp.

The district consists of Wilke-Barre, Wilkes-Barre Twp., Plains Twp., Bear Creek Twp., Bear Creek Village, Buck Twp., Laflin and Laurel Run.

School board candidates can cross-file and run in both the Democratic and Republican primary elections. The May 21 primary election determines five Democratic and five Republican nominations. Five candidates in the general election will win four-year terms on the board.

Contact the writer:

mbuffer@citizensvoice.com

570-821-2073, @cvmikebuffer