By Ian Adler
Mr. Jay Vasellas, a former student and teacher at Red Lion, is planning to run for school board in this year’s upcoming election.
Vasellas taught various American history classes at the high school for 38 years, and with the exception of college and pre-kindergarten days, spent all of his life in the district as well. In addition to teaching at Red Lion, Vasellas also teaches American history classes at York College, and has been doing so for 13 years.
“I’ve just got a passion for this school district,” Vasellas said. “It’s defined me, it’s defined my family and any of the accomplishments and opportunities my family has had have been generated by this school district.”
However, Jay isn’t the first in the Vasellas family with interest in a school board membership. Vasellas’ mother, Norma Vasellas, served on the school board for 16 years.
“I saw what she could bring in background knowledge and how teachers feel about certain things,” Vasellas said. “It’s a different thing.”
Norma was a teacher at Dallastown, in addition to her Red Lion school board membership.
Currently, there are no teachers or former teachers on the school board, as no paid employee of the district may serve on the board, as outlined in the school board member applicaton. This obviously can raise a few issues between the two groups of people, from communication to wants and needs.
“Sometimes, I feel like the communication between school board and teachers can be enhanced, almost as a translator,” Vasellas said. “Teachers and board members sometimes just do not speak the same language.”
In addition to the standard expectations and activities that all school board members carry out, Vasellas has some ideas of his own to contribute.
“My priority is going to be how do we best implement mandates on the local level when they come from above,” Vasellas said. “How do we do the best job we can to teach kids in the classroom?”
Currently, Vasellas is an Interim board member. He was named to temporarily fill a position that someone had resigned from.
School board primary elections were held on May 19. Vasellas placed first among both republican and democrat voters. Mike Rowe will be his opponent for the seat in November elections.
In addition to Vasellas, four other candidates are running. Clair Weigle, James Clark who is currently on the board, Kevin Downs and Michael Rowe.