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Ex-Boyertown School Board member fills vacancy on panel
[January 09, 2013]

Ex-Boyertown School Board member fills vacancy on panel

Jan 09, 2013 (Reading Eagle - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Joseph M. Nichols has made a comeback to the Boyertown School Board.

Fourteen months after losing his seat by a mere 50 votes, Nichols was tapped Tuesday to replace his 2011 challenger, Kenneth Parsons Jr., who resigned last month after missing eight consecutive meetings.

Nichols, a six-year veteran and former president of the board, was nominated by board Vice President Barbara W. Hartford and approved 6-2. He was sworn in by board President Gwen W. Semmens immediately after the vote before joining the rest of the board at the conference table.

"I really wanted to come back," Nichols said. "There's a lot going on right now with construction and hiring a new superintendent." It was the second time the Bally resident was appointed to the board. Nichols was first appointed in 2006 and elected the next year.

The board approved Nichols over Rod Martin, 40, owner of Martin Stone Quarries in Bechtelsville. Martin, a Bechtelsville resident, was nominated by board member Ruth A. Dierolf for his youth and business experience. But he garnered just two votes, from Dierolf and board member Robert J. Haas.

Martin said after the meeting that he was disappointed by the board's decision, adding that the board needs a fresh voice and fresh ideas.

"I thought it would be good to have a new voice," he said. "I'll try again in November." Nichols and Martin were nominated from a pool of five applicants for the vacated seat. Because Parsons represented Region 1, the seat was open only to residents of Colebrookdale, Earl and Washington townships and Boyertown and Bechtelsville.

Nichols had been critical of Parsons' absences.

"It's sad," Nichols said in November. "If the man wants to continue, then that's fine. If not, we have to do something." The board subsequently asked Parsons to explain his absences. Instead, it got his resignation letter, which cited personal reasons for stepping down.

Contact C. Ryan Barber: 610-371-5081 or

___ (c)2013 the Reading Eagle (Reading, Pa.) Visit the Reading Eagle (Reading, Pa.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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