William Penn grad named to city school board
Jan 03, 2013 (The York Dispatch - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
A William Penn Senior High School graduate has been chosen to serve on the York City School Board.
"I'm excited and proud to be appointed," said Jose Santiago, who graduated in 1984. "I want to help the school and the children in this city. I was raised up in York City schools, and that helped me to do well in life."
Santiago is a U.S. Army veteran and plant/production manager at True Precision Plastics in Lancaster.
He took the seat formerly held by Beverly Atwater after the board unanimously chose him Wednesday over fellow York City resident and former Logos Academy principal Warren Bailey.
Board member Sandie Walker did not attend the meeting.
Before voting in its new member, the board had a question-and-answer session with Santiago and Bailey. Questions included why they wanted to serve on the board, whether they would have the time needed to serve and how they would help the district and its students.
Both Santiago and Bailey said they love the York community and want to help students experience success in academics and life. They said they would be willing to dedicate long hours for board work, while Santiago said that he would "set aside" his participation on other community boards in order to focus on school board activities.
To help the district, Bailey said he would pay close attention to selecting proper curriculum, to finding ways to improve the budget and to improving connections between parents and teachers.
Santiago said he would focus on student safety and school security, while using his managing skills to evaluate what budget cuts could be made without sacrificing students' education and teaching staff.
"I was a manager at work and in the military," he said. "I know how to run a business. Where I work, I brought the business back to life. We saved 30 employees from being laid off and now we're hiring. I know how to cut cost and save jobs."
Board vice president James Morgan said Santiago came to the board with "pretty good accreditation" and has shown through his community work that he a vested interest in helping the board and the district's students.
"(Santiago) came through the school system, he's dedicated to working with kids, he lives in the city and has a good management background," Morgan said. "And he has a passion for the district."
Santiago also is vice commissioner of the York County Youth Football Association and a board member of the Latino Vision Association that serves children in need.
"For me, (Santiago) was chosen because he had the better fit for the board," said Margie Orr, board president. "Mr. Santiago works very hard.
Orr said she is impressed with Santiago's involvement in the district's Parent Advocates for Children and how he works hard on PAC's Education First parade and rally committee.
Santiago said he plans to run for a four-year school board seat after completing Atwater's term, which ends in December this year.
Atwater's seat was recently vacated by the board because its members no longer believe she lives in York City and they haven't heard from her in months, according to Orr. Atwater also missed several meetings.
-Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at email@example.com.
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