Hollidaysburg school board gets two new faces

Gallagher, Mitchell elected to board; Brenneman, Sommer retain their seats

Two high-ranking Hollidays­burg Area School Board members are set to win new terms, and two newcomers are set to take open seats after Tuesday’s election.

Voters chose four of five candidates, with more than 15,000 total votes tallied. Scott Brenneman won 4,044 votes, Ronald Sommer won 3,972, Rick Gallagher got 3,172 and Melissa Mitchell got 2,705, earning them all spots on the board.

Pamela Blackmon lost with 1,308 votes. Results are considered preliminary until verified by county election officials.

The results keep Sommer, the president, and Brenneman, the vice president, in their seats for fresh four-year terms. Gallagher and Mitchell are set to take up seats vacated by outgoing members Patrick McClain and Drew Swope.

“We have a great board now,” Sommer said. “We’re going to miss Mr. McClain and Mr. Swope, but I’m sure the new board will be just as good. We don’t agree on everything, but we work together very well.”

Sommer said he hopes to focus on ongoing classroom technology upgrades in his coming term.

Sommer and Brenneman won on both parties’ nominations, while Gallagher and Mitchell ran as Republicans. Blackmon ran as a Democrat.

“I’m really honored, and I’m humbled by the support that the community has shown me in this election, and in the primary in May,” Brenneman said shortly after results came in. “It means a lot to me.”

Brenneman said he hopes to ensure the board remains an effective steward of public resources.

The new members are set to take up their seats at the board’s year-end reorganization meeting.

Gallagher, of Duncansville, said he looks forward to joining the board — his first elected position.

“I’m just excited to be on the board,” he said. “I’m not nervous; I’m excited to be on it. It’s a great school district, and I’m glad to get involved.”

Mitchell, of Duncansville, said she is eager to acclimate herself to the board once she takes up her seat.

“I’d just like to thank everybody who voted for me and to thank them for the confidence they have in me to represent our students, our teachers, our school and our community,” she said.

Blackmon could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Mirror Staff Writer Ryan Brown is at 946-7457.


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