Spring-Ford School Board vacancy has court date

LIMERICK — Moving into its third month, a vacant seat on the Spring-Ford Area School Board may finally be filled.

A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. in Courtroom A before Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Bernard A. Moore, who will fill the vacant Region II seat on the school board.

The case ended up in county court because the school board has not been able to settle on a nominee to fill the vacant seat.

Janet Stokes and Clinton Jackson, the two who split the school board evenly 4-4, are the only two who filed petitions for the seat.


Jackson filed his Feb. 14, roughly four days after the last school board vote on the matter, and Stokes filed hers on Feb. 20.

What goes into the hearing and what criteria goes into the decision could not be determined.

An assistant for Moore said the judge does not speak on cases while they are in progress.

The assistant confirmed that the court date is open to the public. One scheduled for Monday was continued to Tuesday, he said.

It’s unclear if a decision will be made Tuesday after the hearing or the judge will announce his decision at a later time

In two separate meetings last month, the school board held three tie votes, breaking 4-4 for Stokes and Jackson.

On Jackson’s side were board members Kelly Spletzer, Willard Cromley, Todd Wolf and Mark Dehnert. Voting for Stokes was Joe Ciresi, Tom DiBello, Dawn Heine and Bernard Pettit.

Jackson is a senior project manager with Jacobs Engineering who advocates expanding science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses further in the district as well as developing partnerships and “co-ops” with local business for opportunities for Spring-Ford students.

Stokes is a former board member who advocates adding more “rigor” to the district’s curriculum as well as setting up a sort of personalized mentor and advising system for students, similar to what her sons experienced when they went to private high schools.

Follow Frank Otto on Twitter @fottojourno.