The student news site of Emmaus High School



The student news site of Emmaus High School



EPSD Board election results: bipartisan slate projected to win

Canva by Ayaan Shah.

On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Pennsylvania voters headed to the polls to vote for both statewide and local offices. This includes a vacancy on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, as well as school board elections across the state, among many other offices as well. Polls opened at 7 a.m. and closed at 8 p.m.

Among the intense school board elections lies East Penn. Pennsylvania school board elections have consistently been noted recently for their intense politicization, and East Penn is no exception. In a highly contested race, five out of the ten candidates have won seats on the board. Joshua Levinson, Gabrielle Klotz, Shonta Ford, Jeff Jankowski, and Timothy Kelly, all part of a single bipartisan slate, are projected to win, according to the Lehigh County website’s unofficial results, and as projected by several news outlets, including The Morning Call and Lehigh Valley News. Each bipartisan candidate leads on their Republican opponents Angelic Schneider, Paul Barbehenn, Kristofer DePaolo, Matt Mull, and Lawrence Huyssen, by roughly 2,000 votes each. The results, while currently unofficial, will be certified in the coming days. Despite being registered Republicans, Jankowski and Kelly appeared on the ballot as Democrats.

School board members are elected officials who are not compensated for their work, but rather volunteer their time and effort to the community. 

People don’t realize it’s a volunteer position, and it’s a tough position,” former board member from 2013-2021 Ziad Munson said. “If you want to do it right, and do right by the community, you have to invest in learning about the rules and procedures, learn about what the schools are doing, what the goals of the schools are, and so forth. That takes a lot of work in your first couple years.”

Members from both slates did join together with one message: to vote. Some candidates expressed that they felt that municipal elections were overlooked, or that they had a less than desirable voter turnout.  

“People tend to wait for larger elections [like] for the president. But the things that are going to affect you the most are the local elections,” Democratic candidate Shonta Ford said. “Those are the elections that often people sit out on.”

Republican candidate Angelic Schnieder expanded on this, saying that the polarization of the election affected voting even further.

“I think voters should vote the person and not the party,” Schnieder said. “Politics does not have a place on the school board. I think they should do their research one on one and meet these candidates.”

These fears were validated, with voter turnout having only 74,933 ballots cast, including mail-in ballots and election day ballots. According to the Lehigh County website, Lehigh County has a total of 241,944 registered voters, meaning only 31 percent of registered voters in the Lehigh Valley participated in the election. Residents of six townships in Lehigh County were able to vote in the EPSB election: Alburtis, Emmaus, Lower Macungie, Macungie, Upper Milford East, and Upper Milford West. 

Pennsylvania requires that all new board members undergo five hours of training within a year of their election, and re-elected members must complete three hours of training in the same time frame. The board will reorganize with the newly elected candidates this December, per Pennsylvania law, according to the Pennsylvania School Board Association (PSBA). All candidates serve a total of four years before running again if they so choose.

This story will be updated as more information emerges.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Ayaan Shah
Ayaan Shah, Editor-in-Chief
This is Ayaan's third year on The Stinger. He is a member of Academic Team, Varsity Chess Team, President of Chess Club, and Treasurer of World Cultures Club, in addition to being a member of NHS. Ayaan is also a member of the Student Press Law Center's New Voices program, which is dedicated to passing protective state legislation for student journalists. He won first place for editorial writing in the 2023 Keystone Media Awards and third place in the 2023 Pennsylvania Press Club high school journalism contest. In 2024 he won second place for ongoing news coverage of the EPSD Board elections, and also won the $500 statewide diversity champion scholarship award from the Keystone NewsMedia Association. He also won First Place in editorial writing for the 2024 Pennsylvania Press Club competition in addition to several honorable mentions. Prior to becoming Editor-in-Chief, Ayaan was the Managing Opinion Editor, and a Deputy News Editor prior to that. Outside of school, Ayaan enjoys reading history books, writing, and shaping bonsai trees.
Carina McCallum
Carina McCallum, Opinion Editor
This is Carina’s second year on The Stinger. At Emmaus, she is Secretary of the Red Cross Club, as well as a member of EHS’s Science Fair, Model UN, National Honor Society, Student Mentors, and Hornet Ambassadors. In her free time, Carina likes reading, baking, and spending time with friends.

Comments (0)

All The Stinger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *