Penns Valley

Penns Valley school board selects new member

Kerri Kubalak was elected to a seat on the Penns Valley Area school board in a 7-1 vote Wednesday night.

She replaced Jay Martin, who announced his resignation last month.

Board President Chris Houser said the group went through a series of interviews last week with four candidates, after advertising the position earlier in the month.

“They were all very qualified,” Houser said of those who applied for the vacant spot.

Kubalak, of Spring Mills, said she doesn’t have a specific “first order of business,” but hopes to be an additional voice for parents of students in the district.

“It’s a position I’ve always been interested in,” Kubalak said. “I have four kids in the district at each level. …It’s exciting and will be a lot of work, but I want to help make a difference.”

Kubalak works for Cen-Clear Child Services in Philipsburg, working with families of children enrolled in state or federally funded Head Start programs.

She was also a substitute teacher at the district from 2010 to 2012, and was a staff assistant in the mid-1990s in Penn State’s department of astronomy and astrophysics.

According to her application, Kubalak served on a number of boards within the district, including booster clubs and the Penns Valley Elementary Parent-Teacher Association.

Her term will run until next fall. She is also expected to run in the primary election in May, Houser said.

District solicitor Scott Etter said the position needed to befilled within 30 days of Martin’s last day on the board. If not, residents of the district could have filed a petition with the Court of Common Pleas.

Martin was a member of the board for seven years, and plans to spend more time with family and focus on his professional life, according to a letter he wrote to the board.

Other candidates for the seat included Michael K. Dawson, Daniel L. Decker and Emily Martell.