COAL TOWNSHIP - Mark Anonia has announced his candidacy for Shamokin Area School Board.

Anonia said he is uniquely qualified, offering a combination of community service, managerial skills, strong budget and finance background, and years of hands-on parental involvement.

Anonia is a lifelong resident of the school district and a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology. He has been employed 23 years as the cooked products manager at Michael Foods Inc., Klingerstown.

A son of Dr. Francis and Barbara (Quinn) Anonia, Anonia and his wife, Christine (Scicchitano), have three children, Noelle (Anonia) Carnuccio, a 2002 graduate of Shamokin Area; Mark Jr., a 2011 graduate of Shamokin Area, and Anthony, a senior at Shamokin Area. They have two grandchildren, Gabriella and Gaven.

"I have always been actively involved in our local youth organizations, am a member of The Hillside Coaches and sit on the Salvation Army Board of Directors. I previously served two terms on the school board and bring with that a deep understanding of public school operations," Anonia said.

"I want to help lead this community and support the school district. As a parent and past board member, I see the needs and perspectives of both sides of the equation.

"My motivation to run for the board comes directly from our children's education, my pride in the community and my concern over how money is spent. I believe schools exist for our children, not our children for schools. Therefore, the school board must work very hard to provide quality teachers, programs and safe buildings for our children to have a successful learning environment. My agenda was and is to do what I can to assist in promoting excellence and lifelong learning in our children, and to promote and facilitate excellence and best practices with all of our staff in the best use of our resources.

"We know that every child learns and finds success differently, so we must keep opportunities for success available by keeping art and music. It is necessary to reinstate a comprehensive arts program as K-12 core curricula. By reinstating the arts and involving them in a dialogue with other disciplines, we will catalyze, reinforce and deepen student learning across the curriculum.

"Unfortunately, our government and legislature failed to step up and provide equitable, sustainable, predictable and sufficient funding so educators can do their jobs, and I am committed to working collaboratively with the other board members to find innovative ways to close the gap.

"I look forward to working with the many educators and staff members. If elected, it will be important to remain active in the community during my tenure on the school board. This will ensure the ideas and opinions of students, parents, and residents are included in my decision making process.

"A great teacher, staff member, mentor or principal can impact a person for the rest of his or her life. I would like our Shamokin Area School District to be a positive impact, and I would like your vote so that I can assist our children to be ready and a success in lifelong learning," he concluded.