2 SWASD school board members step down after years of service

Two dedicated school board members of the South Williamsport Area School District recently stepped down from their roles at a meeting after many years of fervent service.

John Engel, who sat on the board for 16 years, and Jerry Broskey, a member for six years, received plaques from the district for the countless hours of hard work put into making South’s schools the best they can be.

In 2001, Engel ran for school board as a way to be more involved in his children’s lives, who were in the district at that time. In his words, it turned into something much bigger.

During his second year on the board, he was voted to be its president, a position he held for 15 years. Over those years he has provided necessary guidance to move the district forward to where it is today.

“I have loved working together with my fellow board members to make this district a great place to receive an education,” he said. “One of the best things has been hiring the right people who can make a positive impact on the students.”

He looks back on hiring former administrators like Paul Anderson, the previous high school principal, and Tom Farr, the former district superintendent. He said both of them were incredibly influential to the education of students and the district’s progress.

Engel said he liked discussing important topics such as taxes and contracts with board members even when there was division. He knew they all would come together at the end to make the best decision for taxpayers and staff.

Gregg Anthony, board member, said that he was grateful to have had Engel’s guidance to steer the board.

“We wouldn’t be the board that we are today without (Engel’s) leadership,” he said.

Dr. Mark Stamm, district superintendent, said Engel has been a true joy to work along side because of his passion for the community and students. He was always able to give perspective and advice in difficult situations.

Broskey joined the board in 2011 as a way to serve the community and the youth of South Williamsport.

“I wanted to play a part in directing the students’ education and providing input as a community member and father of two educators,” he said. “Because I don’t have children in the district, I was able to bring a fresh perspective.”

In his early years he did a lot of listening to the board’s discussions and went to seminars to better understand the dynamics of being a school board member. Once he had a solid foundation, he was ready to make great contributions to the board by keeping an open mind.

As he steps off the board, he is excited to see the district progress to make the best decisions to better educate each student everyday to a high level.

Dr. Stamm said Broskey was a tremendous asset to the board during his tenure. He brought insight and was outspoken during essential times.

The school board is scheduled for a reorganizational meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 4 at the South Williamsport Area High School library.