Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

School Director Looks for Common Ground

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

School Director Looks for Common Ground

Article excerpt

When Skip Drumheller decided to run for a spot on the Gateway school board, he and two others running for seats on the board agreed to divvy up the campaigning duties and work together to earn votes.

The interesting thing about the arrangement is that Mr. Drumheller is a Democrat, and Jim Capell and Bob Elms are Republicans.

They campaigned together last year and all three were elected to the board in November. Mr. Drumheller said they now work well together as school board members.

"We've really learned from each other," he said. "And it's really difficult to be upset with someone from the other side of the political spectrum if you've worked with them.

"It really brings you together," Mr. Drumheller said. "You find your common ground."

He said the three are working with other board members to increase the board's transparency and encourage collaboration among the schools and the community.

Mr. Drumheller started his career in Florida, setting up educational programs at community colleges. He then worked for a brief stint at the University of Texas before coming to Pittsburgh, where he worked as a research manager at the sleep and pulmonary medicine labs at the University of Pittsburgh for almost a decade. He retired last year at 65, although he's still involved with some research at the university. After he announced his plans to retire, his wife, Monroeville Councilwoman Lois Drumheller, encouraged him to get involved in the community.

As a school board member, he said, he hopes he can help improve educational outcomes in the district beyond "paper and pencil tests."

"That's one of the key things in school -- to make sure we graduate children who not only pass tests, but who make decisions and think critically," he said.

Mr. Drumheller's name also has appeared nearly a dozen times in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as a frequent contributor to the newspaper's letters to the editor. He said it's important for people to share their experiences and background and get a dialog going. …

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