In four rounds of open-ballot voting Monday night, the East Penn School District Board of School Directors appointed the pastor of a Macungie Lutheran church to fill a vacancy created last month by the resignation of a former member accused of an inappropriate relationship with a then 15-year-old high school girl.
The Rev. Waldemar "Wally" Vinovskis , 50, of Macungie was selected by the eight-member board over 13 other diverse and well-qualified candidates to replace former school director Julian Stolz, 25, of Emmaus who left October 15th amid parents' accusations of having an inappropriate relationship with a then 15-year-old Emmaus High School student.
When asked by Board Vice President Alan Earnshaw to explain his interest in the opening, Vinovskis proudly exclaimed, "I have four children-- two current East Penn students and two alumni, and I have a passion for public education." He added following his selection and referring to East Penn, "This is the best school district in Pennsylvania and I am proud to be a part of it. We also need to take back our children and get beyond our differences in the classroom."
Vinovskis' competition included recent former board member Terry Richwine and Board President Ann Thompson in addition to other reputable and well-qualified educators, administrators, an assistant principal, sales, and upper level management professionals.
Currently serving as the pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Macungie. Vinovskis noted one of his greatest strengths is his ability to "analyze information arriving at a proper solution in order to bring people together."
Originally from Omaha, NE, the pastor earned a bachelor's degree in human development and psychology from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and received his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo.
He has served on nine East Penn school committees as a volunteer since 2003.
When asked why he voted for Vinovskis, Earnshaw said he wanted a candidate who desired not only to fill the two-year gap left open by Stolz, but also would remain and run in the board of director's next election.