The Rev. Jamison Hardy

The Rev. Jamison Hardy

Peters Township School Board is seeking to fill a vacancy.

The board accepted the resignation Tuesday of the Rev. Jamison Hardy, who had served since his election in 2013.

“It’s not a vote I think any of us ever really wanted to do, and it’s going to be taken with reluctance,” Tom McMurray, board president, said prior to the unanimous approval.

Hardy, former pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Peters, is bishop/president of the English District of Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. The English District’s offices are in Michigan, where he and his family are moving.

He participated in Tuesday’s board meeting by telephone and offered a ringing endorsement for his fellow elected officials.

“The community needs to truly understand the quality that is on the Peters Township School Board, and the importance to understand that it takes a great deal of effort to keep the highest-quality school district with relatively low per-pupil cost,” he said. “That’s not something that should just be ignored, and that’s an effort that this entire school board has put in for many, many years under the leadership of Mr. McMurray.”

Information presented at the Jan. 11 board finance committee, which Hardy chaired until his resignation, shows projected per-student expenditures of $19,028 for the 2021-22 school year.

The latest information available from the state – for 2018-19, according to district manager Brad Rau – lists Peters Township as spending $16,291 per student, lower than comparable school districts in Allegheny County and third lowest among the 14 Washington County districts.

The Pennsylvania Public School Code calls for Hardy’s seat to be filled within 30 days of his resignation. The remaining board members plan to vote Feb. 16, during their next regular meeting.

Interested Peters Township residents can submit applications through Jan. 28, and McMurray said interviews would take place Feb. 1 and 2.

“Interviews for board vacancy applicants are public,” solicitor Jocelyn Kramer said, making them open to observation “in whatever form that they are offered.”

The candidate who is selected will serve through Dec. 6, when the board reorganizes.

“Dr. Hardy’s seat is going to be open and up for election for a new term, so interested applicants should keep that in mind if they intend on running for the new term as a school director,” Kramer explained.

The first day to circulate and file nomination petitions is scheduled for Feb. 16, in advance of the May 18 municipal primary.

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Multimedia Reporter

Staff writer Harry Funk, a professional journalist for three-plus decades, has been on the staff of The Almanac since 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and master of business administration, both from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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