Seven on the ballot for Bellefonte school board

BELLEFONTE — With the 2019 primary Election Day right around the corner, there are several interesting races in Centre County.

One of the most interesting is in the Bellefonte Area School District, where there are seven on the ballot for school board. Everyone on the ballot has cross-filed.

Here’s a closer look at the candidates:

– Dr. Mark Badger — Badger said that he is running because of a couple of incidents that took place in the district last year. While he’s never served on a school board, Badger has served on the board at the Bellefonte YMCA and is a current board of trustees member at Restek Corporation.

– Julie Fitzgerald — A longtime resident of the district, Fitzgerald has career experience in education. She is a parent of a current student in the district.

– Kimberly Hearn — Hearn has resided in the district for almost 30 years and now lives in Spring Township. She is a graduate of Bellefonte High School, South Hills School of Business and Technology and recently from the University of Phoenix with a degree in Education. Hearn has two children who attend school in the district. Hearn teaches in the Bald Eagle Area School District.

– Max Kroell –At 17, Kroell is the youngest candidate on the ballot. He is a senior at Bellefonte Area High School and will graduate next month. Kroell is the current class president and a member of the Red Raiders’ track and field team.

– Rob Pacella — Pacella is a lifelong resident of Centre County and a 1988 graduate of Bellefonte Area High School and Centre County Vocational Technical School. He has three children and two stepdaughters in the district. Pacella has been employed at Penn State Facilities Engineering Institute (PSFEI) as a facility engineer since 2011, primarily working with the PA Turnpike Commission. He’s also a volunteer firefighter with the Bellefonte Fire Department since 1987 and has served the Bellefonte community in many roles, including fire chief.

– Robert Lumley-Sapanski — Lumley-Sapanski is in his 16th year as a director on the school board. He has served as board president for six years and was vice-president of the board four times. He is a graduate of the College of Agriculture at Penn State, currently works at Penn State as the Facilities and Safety Coordinator for the Food Science Department, which runs the Penn State Creamery, and chaired the Staff Advisory Committee to the Dean twice. He is president of the Centre County United Nations Association that supports the Model UN program.

– Donna Smith — In 2018, after teaching language arts at the middle school for 33 years, Smith retired and was later appointed to the board after a member’s resignation.

“Serving on Bellefonte School Board has provided a way for me to stay involved with the students and families I have genuinely grown to love. Hopefully, I can use my practical experience and some hard-earned wisdom when making decisions. I am a true advocate for public schools, specifically for keeping our tax dollars in house,” Smith said.