(EDITOR'S NOTE: Today the Williamsport Sun-Gazette continues examination of the key contests for municipal, township and school board nominations in the May 21 primary election. Installments each day through Saturday will focus on a different race.)
MONTGOMERY - Two people are seeking nominations to serve as Region 3 representative on the Montgomery Area School Board in this month's primary election.
Jody Lee Budman, of 1196 Alvira Road, Allenwood, and Dean Showers Jr., of 790 Back Road, Allenwood, have cross-filed and will seek both the Republican and the Democratic nominations for the one seat vacant this year in Region 3.
Elsewhere in the district, two seats are open in Region 1 as well as Region 2.
Two candidates are seeking two nominations in Region 1: Christopher J. Johnson, of 105 Kinsey St., Montgomery, has cross-filed, while Augustine Spizzirri, of 33 Kinsey St., Montgomery, is seeking only the Republican nomination.
And in Region 2, only one person has filed for the two open seats. Todd S. Woodling, of 98 Bastian Road, Muncy, cross-filed.
Budman, who has served on the board for four years, has two children enrolled in the district.
"I believe I have passion, time to donate to the district, and a drive to ensure that the education we offer is the best it can possibly be," Budman said.
Budman said she believes it is her job as a board member to help foster a good relationship between the community and the administration and to make fair decisions. She also would like to see an increased public presence at school board meetings.
"It's important to be active in your community, I believe. It's important for us, as board members, to be approachable, honest, and good listeners," Budman said.
Showers did not return repeated calls for an interview about his candidacy.
Spizzirri has been a board member for 16 years. Prior to his retirement, he had a 28-year teaching career. He said it is his responsibility as a board member to look out for citizens' interest while striving for a high quality education for the students of Montgomery.
"I try to look out for the people and hold taxes down. We are a small community and times are tough for many families financially," Spizzirri said.
"I believe we can give kids the best education possible while continuing to protect the tax payers," he added.
Spizzirri would like to see physical education and driver's education programs brought back into the school. Spizzirri pointed out that he voted against canceling both programs.
"I think physical education is important for healthy kids," he said.
"I also think we need that driver's ed program back. Many parents have expressed concerns to me about that," he added.
Johnson did not return repeated calls for an interview about his candidacy.
Woodling, a college professor, puts a great value on the importance of education and civic duty. He has served on the school board for two years.
His son is a graduate of Montgomery High School, and his daughter is a student.
"My goals are to maintain high academic standards while also creating and maintaining activities and arts programs. I'm a big believer in the importance of art education; I believe it makes for well-rounded students who grow up to become good citizens," Woodling said.
"The primary reason I'm running is because I believe in giving service to my community. I feel strongly that schools are a place where administrators, staff and students should feel they can express themselves and be heard," he added.
Woodling stated he would love to see more community interest in the school district and a higher number of citizens participating in school board meetings.
"That's wonderful for us. I feel I'm always open for comments from the citizens. It helps us understand what there concerns are so we can make well-informed decisions," Woodling said.