Juniata College is located in Huntingdon Borough. Many professors who work at the College enjoy the small-town feel and send their children to the Huntingdon school district. I was interested in the story of a professor who is on the school board of the district he sends his children to, Peter Rothstein, lecturer in English. It is clear that he loves to devote time to his children and being involved with their lives. I felt that it was very appropriate that as I was interviewing him, his children were running around his feet. Peter Rothstein, lecturer in English, shares his experience.
How did you decide to become part of the Huntingdon School Board?
Actually my wife and mother-in-law encouraged me to do it. I have been on the board for six years and at the time there was a vacancy and I wanted to step in a do something positive for the school district that my children are in.
What is the best part of being on the Huntingdon School Board?
I find it very satisfying knowing that I am involved in hiring good quality teachers to teach my children. I have gained a better understanding of how the school system works in Huntingdon and a better connection to the people who are educating my kids. I feel that is really valuable.
What are types of issues does the school board deal with?
The board makes decisions on policy and gets recommendations from the administrators. A big issue was when we had to pick a new superintendent. At the end of the year is when we hire new teachers, and that can be very time consuming. The time commitment of being involved is about 15-30 hours a month per person. We deal with things such as the issue of home-schooled children participating in extracurricular activities. The current issue on the school board is concerning the Huntingdon middle school.
Can you talk more about the current issue with the middle school?
The current middle school is in architecturally bad condition and a new one needs to be built. When it was built in the 1970s it was the cheapest building per square foot to build in Pennsylvania at the time. The swimming pool has been drained because it was leaking into the ground and was a huge tax burden. There has been some talk of sharing one with Juniata and I think it is a great concept but it is not practical in many ways. The issue of the building of a new middle school is an example of the many issues the Huntingdon school board is presented with.
-Caitlin Stormont ’10, Juniata Online Journalist