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Father, son eye seats on board

A Frontier School District father and son are double-teaming the Frontier School Board.

Davis A. Podkulski, a senior and student government president, told the School Board last week that it should appoint a student to the board. His father, Richard A. Podkulski, accompanies his son to meetings.

At the same time, speculation is swirling that the father may be considering a run for the School Board next spring -- which he has not ruled out. The family has ties to the district. Richard Podkulski's sister, Lucille Bogold, works in accounts payable in the district's business office.

Addressing the board last week, Davis Podkulski said he was frustrated the board has not acted on the issue, which was raised previously by board member Jack Chiappone. He also said the student government and student body are disenfranchised by not being represented on the board.

"I would be more than happy to take that position, like a guinea pig, to see how it works -- to finish the year. I'd like to leave that legacy with the district," the student said in an interview.

Since early fall, the Hamburg son and father have regularly attended board meetings.

"When my son mentioned he would run for student government president, I told him I expect him to attend the School Board meetings so he understands what is going on and can share with the student body what the board is discussing," the father said. "I took it upon myself to ensure that he goes and attended with him."

The issue of student representation is new to Jeff Sortisio, high school principal for the past four years. Sortisio, who organized a principal's advisory cabinet, made up of 28 students from ninth through 12th grades, said the issue has never surfaced.

Some board members have said they are willing to consider the request. Others, meanwhile, are opposed to the idea. Richard Podkulski is a senior project manager at Praxair and a member of the McKinley-Scranton Taxpayers Association.