Tighe unanimously re-elected as president of Oxford School Board
By Steven Hoffman
Joseph Tighe, who was recently re-elected to another four-year term on the Oxford School Board, was unanimously selected by his colleagues to again serve as board president at the reorganization meeting that was held on Dec. 3.
Mark Patterson will once again serve as the board vice president. Like Tighe, he was also recently re-elected to the school board.
The reorganization meeting began with Magisterial District Judge Scott Massey administering the oath of office to the six people who were elected as school board members in the November election—Tighe, Patterson, Jennifer Harrison, Eric Owens, Howard Robinson, and Robert Tenga.
Once they were sworn in, the six newly elected members joined the three holdover members of the board—Kristen Dean, Stephen Gaspar, and Jenifer Warren.
Dean, Patterson, and Tenga are all at-large members. Robinson and Owens represent Region I, which includes Upper Oxford Township, Lower Oxford Township East, and Oxford Borough East. Gaspar and Jennifer Harrison are elected from Region II, which includes West Nottingham Township, Lower Oxford Township West, and Oxford Borough West. Tighe and Warren represent Region III, which is comprised of Elk and East Nottingham townships.
Once the board unanimously selected Tighe and Patterson to serve in leadership roles, the next piece of business was to select a time and place for board meetings for the next year. The school board will continue to hold its work sessions on the second Tuesday of the month and regular meetings on the third Tuesday of the month. The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building.
Next, Owens was once again appointed to serve as the board’s representative on the Chester County School Boards Legislative Council.
Owens, Warren, and Harrison were then appointed to the Policy Review Committee which is charged with updating the school district’s policies on an ongoing basis.
The school board also handled one important piece of business at the meeting, approving unanimously a resolution that certifies that the school district will remain within the Act 1 Index limit for the 2020-2021 school year as the budgeting process unfolds.
The Act 1 Index for the 2020-2021 school year is 3.6 percent, and by certifying that it will remain under that limit, the Oxford Area School District can now proceed with a normal budgeting process, rather than going through the referendum process that would be necessary if the school district anticipated having to exceed the limit. School districts are required to adopt a final budget by June 30.
During public comment, a resident expressed concerns about the safety of schools and the preparedness of the school district to respond to an emergency situation. The resident referenced a Nov. 25 incident in which the Pennsylvania State Police arrested a 16-year-old male at his home after the Oxford Area High School student threatened a shooting at the school. The resident said that her son’s class moved from one classroom to another during the school lockdown, which could have placed them in danger if there was an active shooter on the campus.
Tighe, noting that he has two children in the high school, assured the resident that the safety of the school buildings is a priority for the district. He asked the woman to email superintendent David Woods with any specific questions or concerns, and they will be responded to. School districts closely guard specific details about their safety plans for emergencies because of safety reasons.
The school board will hold its next work session on Jan. 14 and the next regular meeting on Jan. 21. Both meetings will take place at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building.