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Prego, McCormick Ready to Serve on UPSD Board
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            While he was running for a seat on the Upper Perkiomen School Board, JP Prego said the work was described as crazy and thankless. It's what he is expecting.

            "That's what I signed up for," Prego said. "I'm ready for the challenge."

            Next month, Prego and Emily Psaris McCormick will likely join the board. The two, along with incumbents Melanie Cunningham and Keith McCarrick, are expected to take the oath of office during a Dec. 6 reorganization meeting.

            On Monday, the Pennsylvania Secretary of State's office was scheduled to certify the results .  McCarrick and Cunningham appear to have breezed to reelection during the Nov. 2 General Election, according to unofficial totals posted on the Berks and Montgomery County websites. McCarrick led all candidates on the ballot with 3,101 votes. Cunningham, the board president, got 3,090 votes.

            McCormick and Prego, a pair of Upper Hanover residents, defeated Eve Puhalla and Tatiana Galota in a bid to succeed Kerry Drake and Stephen Cunningham. McCormick, who cross-registered, finished third with 2,465 votes. Prego, listed as a Democrat on the ballot, got 2,344 votes.

            Eve Puhalla, a Republican, received 2,109 votes. Galota received 1,800 votes despite announcing her withdrawal from the race, according to the information. A note on Montgomery County voter services page stated that the Pennsylvania Secretary of State would certify the results Monday.

            In Berks County, Jeff Borchelt led two write-in candidates with 105 votes. Jessica Gallagher received 99 votes. Montgomery County write-in totals were not available.

            Prego, a mechanical engineer and a father of two, plans on approaching the job with his eyes wide open, according to a post on his election social media page. It states that his philosophy to problem-solving is to always start with true, intent and respectful listening.

            "I know being a school board director will be a challenging position, but that does not scare me because I welcome the challenge," wrote the incoming member, who earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Wilkes University in 2005.

            "Two things that I have learned in life: always expect the unexpected and be prepared for any changes that may come your way."

McCormick, a 1997 graduate of Upper Perkiomen who has worked as the director of technology at Lehigh Valley Health Network for 15 years, will take her seat on the board with no expectations.

            She expressed a willingness to focus on the short and long-term issues, like curriculum, facilities and extracurricular activities, in order to make the district better.

            "The whole reason I ran was to improve the experience for students," said McCormick, a mother of two who graduated from Penn State University. "I am absolutely looking forward to the challenge. It's important for me as a new school board member to do a lot of listening."

            In a social media post, the candidate-elect stated that she was committed to the ongoing improvement of the quality of education in the district. McCormick wrote that she was motivated to ensure the students here are having a positive experience.






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