New Board member sworn in

To view photos of the meeting, please click here.

By Gary Weckselblatt

Robert J. Diliberto is the newest member of the Quakertown Community School Board, chosen on May 24 by Directors to fill the vacant seat following the resignation of Dr. Austin Sedicum.

"I'm excited," said Diliberto, who works at Paychex, Inc., and has two sons in the district. "This is all new to me, and I'll do my best to try and figure it out."

The Board had four candidates to choose from as high school senior Leo Bernabei, Dell James and Chris Spear, also applied for the Region 2 seat, which includes Milford and Trumbauersville. Leo and Spear are well known to regular attendees at Board meetings; Leo as a student representative and Spear as a frequent speaker.

Five votes were required to win, a tough get on a Board that has often split 4-4 on issues. The task was made more challenging with the absence of Mitch Anderson Thursday night.

Spear, nominated by vice president David Ochmanowicz Jr., was the first candidate to have his name called for a vote. A supporter of Ochmanowicz, Keith Micucci, Kaylyn Mitchell and Jennifer Weed in last year's election, he received four votes, but was a no to Ron Jackson, Jonathan Kern and President Steaven Klein.

Leo, nominated by Kern, received three votes, but couldn't sway the four newest members who said they admired his abilities but felt his time should be devoted to college.

Leo, a top student, will be attending Fordham University. He said he has worked out his freshman schedule to have Thursday afternoons and Fridays off to tend to Board duties, but it wasn't enough to convince five Directors.

"It's tough in a contentious political atmosphere like this," Leo said. "But this has been an interesting opportunity, and I'm just thankful to have been part of it. Hopefully, I can come back and run in the near future."

Micucci helped break the ice with the nomination of Diliberto and voting for him after Jackson and Kern had been yes votes. Mitchell followed with a yes and Weed put him over the top, saying "I'm on the fence, but I'm going to say yes."

"I liked his answers," said Weed, an advocate of Spears. "He seemed reasonable. He has kids in the district, which is important to me."

Said Micucci, Diliberto "seemed level-headed. He seemed open to ideas. I was trying to find the right fit for the Board. Hopefully he does a phenomenal job."

In his application for the Board, Diliberto wrote: "Personally, my wife and I are grateful for the education and experience our children Jack (13, Strayer), and Cooper (8, Richland) have received. "We have been extremely impressed with the care, attention and opportunities each of them have been provided. I would like to help out with my 20 years of experience in the areas of streamlining workflows, improving reporting and managing the costs associated with labor and benefits."

Board notes: Klein, the Board president, presented Leo with a proclamation for his outstanding service as student representative.

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or gweckselblatt@qcsd.org.

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