EAST WHITELAND - The Charlestown Township Planning Commission is welcoming a new member to its board, the second woman to serve there.

"Having lived in so many different places I see what a jewel (Charleston Township) is," said June Gorman, appointed Tuesday, Feb. 10. She, and her family, have lived in the township for five years.

Formerly enlisted in the Navy along with her husband, they often relocated. Now with a more permanent residence, she has invested in the area, feeling that service to the township is her duty.

After working within the Navy for five years as a political military analyst, and earning a masters degree in international law, Gorman now works for Penn State University's Great Valley campus as a researcher in the graduate program. Her work history has provided Gorman familiarity with sifting through large volumes of information and locating what is important.

"You need to be a quick learner," she said of the planning commission. According to Gorman, the commission sought and will be best benefited by persons with new ideas, perspectives and concern for township rather than experience in developing.

"This hit me at the right time," said Gorman. "It's something new, something challenging and beyond my neighborhood."

Gorman was introduced to the possibility of joining the planning commission during a conversation with Charles Philips. At that time, she served as a board member of the homeowners' association in her subdivision.

Gorman said that she is prepared for work with the planning commission because she has an open mind and is able to see the larger picture. As a result of her range of experiences from living in so many places, she has observed what developing strategies work and what strategies do not.

"I've always volunteered with schools and churches," said Gorman, who participates in charity events and fundraisers in the area, coordinates parent teacher conferences at Great Valley High School and is involved in committees at Great Valley Middle School.

"I think it's very important parents model volunteerism for their children," said Gorman, who recently celebrated her 21-year anniversary with her husband, who also works for Penn State University. The couples' three children, two sons and a daughter, range from college to middle school age.

Gorman was appointed to Charlestown Township's planning commission filling the vacancy left by Charles Philips, who was elected to the board of supervisors. Gorman's term expires in 2005.

"I'm honored," Gorman said of her appointment. "I hope to make a difference."

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