Ex-teachers set to take Pittsburgh school board seats

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Three former Pittsburgh teachers are among five candidates who appear to have won seats on the Pittsburgh Public Schools board.

In District 1, Sylvia C. Wilson, 62, of Larimer, a former elementary school teacher and longtime assistant to the president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, captured both the Democratic and Republican nominations, edging out her opponent Lucille Prater-Holliday, 56, a community organizer from Homewood.

And in District 9, Carolyn Klug, 54, of Brighton Heights, who spent 20 years as an elementary teacher in Pittsburgh, won both the Democratic and Republican nominations. She beat opponents Lorraine Burton Eberhardt, 57, a retired teacher and administrator in the Pittsburgh district, and David Schuilenburg, 39, a telecommunications officer with the Allegheny County Department of Emergency Services.

In the third contested race, in District 5, Terry Kennedy, 51, a former software engineer who is now a community volunteer from Squirrel Hill, won both the Democratic and Republican nominations and handily defeated opponent Stephen DeFlitch, 42, a quality/manufacturing manager from Greenfield.

The two other open seats on the board were uncontested with incumbent Thomas Sumpter running in District 3 and candidate Cynthia Ann Falls, also a retired city schools teacher, running in District 7, where long-time school director Jean Fink decided not to seek re-election.

Ms. Wilson appears set to replace Sharene Shealey, current board president, who chose not to seek re-election for the District 1 seat.

"I am glad that I will be able to do things for the Pittsburgh school district in another way," Ms. Wilson said. "The main thing is as soon as school board people go on board the first thing they get hit with is the budget. I understand the budget, but I'll be looking at it from a different vantage point."

District 1 includes all or parts of Larimer; Homewood North South and East: East Hills: North Point Breeze; and Point Breeze.

In District 5, Ms. Kennedy said she also plans to make the budget her priority.

"At the top of my school board agenda is making sure I am up to speed on all of the issues, and finances are the No. 1 issue," said Ms. Kennedy, who is president of the Parent Teacher Student Association at CAPA.

She plans to attend all the upcoming budget meetings in order "to be able to hit the ground running in December.

District 5 includes all or parts of Greenfield, Hazelwood, Swisshelm Park, Glen Hazel, South Oakland and Central Oakland.

In District 9, Ms. Klug, who retired from teaching in 2011, is looking to forward to "continue to work with the Pittsburgh Public Schools."

Ms. Klug echoed the sentiments of Ms. Wilson and Ms. Kennedy in identifying the budget and district finances as the most important issue.

"I think we need more funding and we need to work with Harrisburg and [Washington, D.C.,] and see what happens," Ms. Klug said. "I know what the issues are in a broad sense, but I've been going to meetings to try to familiarize myself with what the issues are specifically right now."

District 9 includes both sides of the Ohio River and includes all or parts of Fairywood, Windgap, Chartiers City, Esplen, Sheraden, Crafton Heights, Elliot, West End, Westwood, Oakwood, Ridgemont, Brighton Heights, Perry North and Summer Hill.

Correction, posted May 23, 2013: An earlier version of this story failed to mention that Cynthia Ann Falls is a retired Pittsburgh Public Schools teacher.

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Mary Niederberger: mniederberger@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1590. First Published May 22, 2013 5:00 AM


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