State College Area school board candidate profiles: Ann McGlaughlin

Posted on November 2, 2011 

Ann McGlaughlin, 48, ran for school board in 2007. She and her husband, attorney Ron McGlaughlin, were both members of the State High Vision group that was critical of the previous board.

“I ran at that point in time because I disagreed with the decision making, I disagreed with the plan that had been chosen and I soundly disagreed with the process which had produced that plan,” McGlaughlin said at an AAUW and candidate forum last month

She’s been board president since January 2010.

“I believe that we have an excellent school district, but I don’t believe we should be satisfied with the status quo. We should strive for continuous improvement in everything that we do,” she said at the forum. “There are challenging times ahead and my experiences and perspectives as a parent, a business person, a taxpayer, and incumbent board … member will help me to understand issues, analyze information and make sound decisions.”

Current status: Incumbent seeking reelection.

Political party: She’s a registered Republican, who will appear on both the Democratic and Republican tickets.

Some key votes: In June 2009, she voted against ordering the second edition of "Investigations in Number, Data and Space." The district has since changed elementary math programs.

In May 2011, board members voted on budget layoffs. Some votes, such as eliminating positions through attrition, were unanimous. But the board split on 16 votes that dealt with layoff, demotion and similar cuts. Of those 16 votes, McGlaughlin voted in favor of the cuts 11 times, and against them five times.

Board member Rich Bartnik voted in favor of the same number of cuts, and board members Penni Fishbaine and Jim Pawelczyk voted in favor of more.

In June 2011, she, Bartnik and Pawelczyk voted against a 2.65 percent tax increase for the 2011-12 budget. 

A decision or issue she thought the board handled well: “I think we’ve been quite focused on process,”  McGlaughlin said. “The district has evolved into being more process oriented, being more data driven, aware of the fact that we operate within a community that has a great interest in the schools.”

A decision or issue she thought the board should have handled differently: McGlaughlin said she couldn’t think of a specific one. 

“I think that we’re always learning and evolving and trying to be better,” she said. “I think that we have become more adept at understanding our role and how our role can be used to guide things or to set vision.”



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