Ballots in: 3 newly elected to school board


Paige Young, News Editor

On Nov. 2, election day for Freedom’s new school board took place. Residents from Freedom, New Sewickley and Conway went to the polls to cast their votes. The board has gained three new edition members, and will have three stepping down. 

“In general you never know exactly what to expect when new board members come on, so I’m anxious to see what their thoughts are and what their hopes and goals are for our school moving forward,” high school principal William Deal said. 

Monica Grunnagle, Jennifer Hill of New Sewickley and Michelle Micija of Conway were all voted onto the school board by their fellow community members. 

“I previously served as a board member for 18 months and loved the experience, but I feel that I barely got my feet wet.  I’m grateful to have a four year term this time around.  I believe that every student deserves an exceptional education and I believe that FASD provides that.  I’m here to do whatever I can to make sure that continues,” Micija said. 

The newly elected members are all alumni of Freedom. Grunnagle is Class of 1995 and is not only an alumni, but has three kids in the district as well. She also has one that was a part of the 2021 graduating class and Homecoming Queen. Hill graduated from Freedom in 1996. She has one student currently enrolled in the district. Micija was a part of the 1987 graduating class of Freedom. She has no students enrolled in the district, but has family and friends who have students that attend Freedom. 

I hope that every stakeholder in our district can work together to serve the students of FASD to the very best of our abilities, and make sure that the students are the focus of every decision made. I hope for open communication and transparency. I hope to see all of our students succeed,” Micija said. 

The administration is also ready to see what these new members are going to bring to the table.

“I of course hope that they are here to learn and know what our hopes and goals are for the school as well, so ultimately change is always sometimes difficult, but it’s also sometimes an opportunity. The administrators hope that we will be able to work with the board collaboratively to keep moving our school in a positive direction,” Deal said. 

The board will have three members leaving their positions. Dawn Greene, Harry Gilarno and Lori Pail will all be stepping down from their terms. Greene and Gilarno chose not to seek re-election, while Pail, however, did. Pail had hoped to gain an election with write-in votes by spreading word across the community through platforms such as social media. However, Pail did not have enough write-ins on election day to make it back onto the board. 

The new board members will be joining the board meetings starting on Dec. 9.