Five people are vying for four seats on the Wyoming Area School Board in the Nov. 5 General Election.
Two incumbents, two newcomers and a past board member are all in the race.
A primary issue in the race is the district’s teachers have been involved in a bitter strike since the beginning of the school year.
Teachers have been working under terms of an expired contract since August 2010. They were required by law to return to their classrooms on Oct. 4 and enter into non-binding arbitration. If that fails, a second strike can then be called, but it must end in time to complete 180 days by June 30.
The board also recently hired a new superintendent. Wyoming Area Assistant Superintendent Janet Serino was hired to replace longtime Superintendent Ray Bernardi, an often polarizing figure, who is retiring in April.
Both the Democratic and Republican ballot has current board president John Bolin, incumbent John Marianacci and newcomer Jerry Stofko.
Rounding out the Democratic ballot is former board member Nick DeAngelo, and rounding out the Republican ticket is newcomer Kimberly A. Yochem.
With Bolin, Stofko and Marianacci all garnering nominations on both sides, the race will could come down to Yochem versus DeAngelo on Nov. 5.
Two incumbents, Gil Dominick and Frank Casarella, did not seek re-election so there will be at least two new faces on the board.
Bolin and Marianacci, who have been on the board since 2005, have been running as a team. Yochem, DeAngelo and Stofko have been running independently.
Each candidate has said the lack of a teachers’ contract is the biggest issue in the district.
The four winners in November will make up the next board, joining current members Estelle Campenni, Deanna Farrell, Mary Louise Degnan, Elizabeth Gober-Mangan and Carl Yorina Jr.
John Bolin of Wyoming is the owner/operator of Flowers by Lucille in Wyoming.
John Marianacci of Wyoming has a bachelor’ s degree in Criminal Justice. He is a 20-year veteran corrections officer for Luzerne County.
Nick DeAngelo, of Wyoming, who previously served eight years on the board, has 38 years experience in the private sector as a retail sales manager.
Kimberly Yochem of Exeter Township has a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in health care administration. She is an account executive in provider network management.
Jerry Stofko of is a retired U.S. Postal worker.