From staff reports
LEWISTOWN - Mary Lou M. Sigler, education consultant, has announced her candidacy for a seat on the Mifflin County School Board.
"My desire is to serve the students and taxpayers of Mifflin County," Sigler said. "As a school director, my main goal will be to ensure our students the best possible education given the resources available."
Sigler retired from the Mifflin County School District in 2008, and her career with the district included many different positions from teaching to administration. Her responsibilities spanned the spectrum from instructional to supervisory and fiscal duties.
"We need independent thinkers on the school board, individuals willing to listen to all constituents and to answer the public's questions," Sigler said. "We need school directors who are mindful of all taxpayers, including those living on fixed incomes and those living in areas of the district other than their own. We need school directors who respect the rights of every child to receive the best education possible rather than pitting one school against another or insisting that one school is better than another. We need school directors who have the knowledge and foresight to ensure that all students have the same opportunities to succeed, no matter which school they attend. We need school directors whose leadership will unite the community rather than divide it."
Sigler currently volunteers as a member of the school district's Workplace Safety Committee to help ensure the safety and well-being of all students and staff. It was under her direction that the first two Safe Schools Plans for Mifflin County School District were developed several years ago.
Having graduated from Chief Logan High School in 1969, Sigler attended Mansfield University, where she earned her bachelor's degree in secondary education in December 1972. She then completed graduate work in English and taught writing classes the following semester and summer at the university before returning to Lewistown to begin her career with the school district in August 1973. She completed additional graduate work in English at Penn State University. Sigler earned her master's degree in school administration from Bucknell University and holds the following Pennsylvania certifications: Instructional, Principal, Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction and the Superintendent's Letter of Eligibility.
A lifelong member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Roman Catholic Church in Lewistown, Sigler has chaired the Parish Advocacy Program, a ministry for and with people with disabilities, and has served on the feasibility and finance committees. In recent years, Sigler has also volunteered for the American Institute for Cancer Research and supports various charitable organizations. Since 1992, she has supported the Partners in Hope program of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, where children with cancer are treated free of charge. For the past several years, she has also helped to ensure the educational needs of a Guatemalan child by providing monthly support through the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging.
"This is extremely rewarding as my sponsored child corresponds with me regularly and shows deep appreciation for my contributions to her educational needs," Sigler said.
Sigler has taught various writing courses for the Pennsylvania State University and served as a part time instructor for Continuing Education at the Penn State Center in Lewistown for several years. She currently is employed part time as an education consultant.
The most important things in life, according to Sigler, are love of God and her family - especially her son, Zac - and education.
If elected to serve as school director, Sigler promises to "use the best information and data available in order to make all decisions based on what is best for all students while, at the same time, being fiscally responsible and accountable to taxpayers. While I am well aware of the financial woes of the school district, I would look more closely at other means of revenue before cutting programs. I would consider ways to save money without impacting the education of our children adversely."