Slate opposing school closure sweeps North Allegheny primary

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The slate of candidates endorsed by a group opposed to the closing of Peebles Elementary School captured slots on both tickets for the North Allegheny School Board.

The three candidates who will appear on both tickets are Scott Russell, an IT director for General Nutrition Centers; Tara Zimmerman Fisher, a part-time business professor at the University of Pittsburgh; and Ralph Pagone, a regional manager for Richard Goettle, Inc.

Mr. Russell and Mrs. Fisher are newcomers. Mr. Pagone has been on the board since 2005. All have advocated keeping all seven elementary schools open. Save NA Schools also advocates lower class sizes in elementary grades. Mrs. Fisher is a founder and spokeswoman for Save NA Schools.

All live in McCandless.

The fourth nomination appeared likely to go to different candidates in each party.

Incumbent Thomas Schwartzmier captured a slot on the Republican ticket, while another incumbent, Daniel Hubert, held a narrow lead on the Democratic ticket. Mr. Schwartzmier, of Marshall, has been on the board for eight years and is facilities director for UPMC. Mr. Hubert, of McCandless, has been on the board since 1999 and is chief financial officer of M&J Management Corp. They ran together in support of closing Peebles.

Longtime incumbent Linda Bishop did not seek re-election.

A special election will be held in November to fill the final two years of Beth Ludwig's term. Mrs. Ludwig resigned in February, and was replaced with former board member Karen Boujoukos, who said she will not run in November.

Correction, posted May 22, 2013: The month in which Beth Ludwig resigned has been corrected.

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Sandy Trozzo, freelance writer:


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