Emmaus Grad Chosen as Newest Nazareth School Board Member
Michael Woodland was one of five candidates interviewed at a special public meeting Wednesday night for a vacant seat on Nazareth School Board.
After the sudden death of longtime board member Thomas Maher on Nov. 30, the Nazareth Area School Board was left with only a 30-day window -- required by state law -- to fill his vacant seat.
During a special public meeting Wednesday night, five of the six board members in attendance -- Darrel Crook and Chris Audenried were absent -- felt Michael Woodland, one of five candidates interviewed, was the best fit to fill Maher's seat.
Kenneth Butz nominated Woodland for consideration, while Chris Miller nominated Hayden Phillips, of Lower Nazareth Township. Five board members voted in favor of Woodland. Miller stuck to his vote for Phillips.
Since his daughter started elementary school in 2010, Woodland, who is the co-owner of Dan's Camera City in Allentown, has volunteered for picture day, photos with Frosty, Harvest Day and more, according to his resume.
He adds that he has volunteered at Nazareth Area High School to assist Nicole Stager, who teaches photography, spending time in her classroom to evaluate supplies and offer assistance.
According to Woodland, he will be in the classroom at the end of January to conduct seminars, instructing students in various photo techniques.
Before Wednesday's meeting, Woodland submitted his resume and answers to seven questions pertaining to the Nazareth Area School District to Superintendent Victor Lesky.
Board president Lorin Bradley asked Woodland -- and the other four candidates -- to again answer the first question for the few members of the public who sat in the audience and for the board:
Please describe yourself – educational background, work experiences, familiarity with the Nazareth Area School District. Resume will be sufficient unless you want to add a few words.
Woodland first described his experience at Emmaus High School, telling the board that he was enrolled in college prep classes and was involved in several activities and sports.
"I feel my successes in life are directly attributable to the strong foundation I was provided in the public education system," Woodland added in his questionnaire.
Woodland has lived in the Nazareth Area School District for two and a half years. In that time frame, Woodland explained, he has attended committee meetings -- meetings he especially enjoys because parents and students, not just staff and administration, are involved -- and regular Nazareth School Board meetings.
"I take satisfaction when I can contribute," Woodland said. "I professionally and personally try to give back to the community."
Woodland also pointed out that in the past he has been invited to join the other boards in which he has participated.
"This is the first organization of this type that I've sought to join," Woodland said.
According to his resume, Woodland has been -- or still is -- a member of the following boards:
- Shafer PTA (October 2010 to present)
- Lehigh Carbon Technical Institute (Occupational Advisory Council for five years)
- Lehigh Valley Federal Credit Union (Chairman of the Supervisory Committee for three years)
- Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce (Small Business Council)
- Photo Marketing Association International (National chairperson for one year)
- Photographic Research Organization (Director for six years)
The answers to the board's remaining questions can be found in the PDF file to the right of this article. The questions include:
- Please describe yourself -- educational background, work experiences, familiarity with the Nazareth Area School District. Resume will be sufficient unless you want to add a few words.
- Describe what you believe the role of a school director is in a K-12 public school system.
- Please describe what you would identify as a major success of the district over the past few years and why you have chosen this.
- Please identify the 2 or 3 major issues you believe the Nazareth Area School District will face during the next 2 years.
- List the skills you possess and can offer to the Board of Education and the Nazareth community that would be of assistance when dealing with the issues you listed above in Question #4.
- Outline what you see as the role of technology in the future of our students and how the Nazareth Area School District should approach fulfilling that role.
- Please detail your knowledge of the federal government’s and the State and the Department of Education’s roles in education, regarding the issues of No Child Left Behind, funding and regulating public school districts, PSSA Testing, and Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP).