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Guest Opinion

Trust Pennridge Community Alliance for needed leadership


Over the past eight years, the Pennridge School District has been in decline. In 2015, our school was ranked 54th in the state. The 2022 rankings indicated a significant drop to 145th.

Staff morale is at an all-time low, resulting in a teacher and staff attrition rate that is three times higher than past years. We simply can’t continue on this downward path any longer.

On Nov. 7, our community must elect board members who will return Pennridge to a respected district, one with a strong reputation for offering a high-quality education to all students. Our Pennridge Community Alliance team has both a vision of how to accomplish this task and the skills to make our vision a reality.

If elected, one of our first actions will be to create a task force dedicated to identifying the areas in our district in need of improvement. By implementing intentional plans and strategies, we will be in the best position to make long-term, positive changes that will not only boost rankings, but will also provide the upcoming generation of Pennridge students with the tools they need to succeed.

As board members, we will seek input from higher performing districts and initiate a curriculum review process. We will listen to our staff and empower it to help make the changes we need to succeed. Our highly qualified and experienced educators are critical to any turnaround plan, and we promise that we will always treat Pennridge teachers and staff with the respect they deserve.

As parents of Pennridge students, we are all highly motivated to return our district to its past successes. Beyond both motivation and vision, our team of candidates also brings significant experience and training in a wide range of fields that will, individually and collectively, help bolster the success of Pennridge. Our candidates include:

• Ron Wurz — Former president of a manufacturing firm of over 400 employees, who has leadership, strategic planning experience and financial acumen

• Bradley Merkl-Gump — Curriculum writer and social studies educator with over a decade of experience and a Master’s degree in Education from Lehigh University

• Chris Kaufman — Nationally accredited Journeyman & Electrical Foreman, Electrical/Construction Safety Instructor, former Upper Bucks County Technical School Electrical Committee advisor

• Leah Foster Rash — Data analyst, trained facilitator and department head (data analysis and interpretation, resource management, policy and process development, leadership)

• Carolyn Sciarrino — Social Service Advocate for children, adults, students, and parents with a Master’s degree from St. Joseph’s University

Ron Wurz is a Pennridge School Board Director. He is running for reelection.

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