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Chester County Press

Linn selected as new Avon Grove School Board president

12/15/2020 12:37PM ● By Steven Hoffman

The Avon Grove School Board held the annual reorganization meeting on Dec. 3.

No school board elections took place this year so all nine of the Avon Grove School Board members are returning for 2021. One of the first orders of business at the reorganization meeting was the official announcement for the record of the school board members: John Auerbach, Jeff Billig, Richard Dumont, Herman Engel, Dorthy Linn, Tracy Lisi, Lynn Weber, Bonnie Wolff, and William Wood.

Next, the board selected a temporary president to handle the gavel and oversee the process of selecting a new president.

Fortunately for the Avon Grove School Board members, they can call upon an experienced person to handle the duties of a temporary president. Engel, who has served on the board since 2010, said that he thought this was his seventh time serving as a temporary president during a reorganization meeting.

“I will make this as short and as painless as possible,” Engel joked about his minutes-long tenure as president.

When it came time to nominate the new president, Wood—the current president—nominated Linn for the position. Billig offered a second to the motion. There were no other nominations and the board voted to affirm Linn’s appointment as president. 

Linn, a retired school superintendent, was elected to the school board in 2019. She expressed her gratitude to her colleagues on the school board for selecting her as president.

Next, the school board opened nominations for board vice president. Billig, the current vice president, nominated Lisi for the role. There were no other nominations and the board voted to affirm Lisi’s appointment as vice president.

Lisi has served as a school board member since 2016, and has been the board president for two years during that time.

Superintendent Dr. Christopher Marchese said that the administration is looking forward to working with the new board leadership team. He lauded Wood and Billig for their work leading the board through all the challenges of 2020. Marchese said that 2020 probably represented the most challenging year for public education because the pandemic presented so many different decisions for school leaders. He thanked Wood and Billig for all their work and dedication.

“They have been wonderful to work with,” Marchese said.

While electing new leadership was the main purpose of the reorganization meeting, there was also an update about COVID-19 cases and the impact they are having on school facilities. The school district has welcomed elementary school students back for in-person instruction for families who favor that method of instruction, but the hybrid option has not yet been extended to middle school and high school students. Marchese reviewed COVID-19 data. The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has made it difficult for Avon Grove to expand in-person learning, even though everyone is eager for all students to be safely back in schools. Additionally, Marchese said, the district is seeking out off-campus options for winter sports athletes to practice. This is a precaution that is being taken to reduce the chances that a few positive COVID-19 cases among athletes won’t lead to the closure of the district’s school buildings for all other activities.

The school board also approved the calendar of public meetings for the next year.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Avon Grove School Board will take place on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 6:30 p.m.