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Seneca Valley Principal Stages Write-in Campaign, Will Take on Metcalfe in Primary

Steve Smith is running for the state House of Representatives

Veteran Seneca Valley educator Steve Smith, principal at , is staging a write-in campaign to take on incumbent state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Cranberry, in the April 24 primary election.

Smith launched a Facebook page a few days ago to announce his candidacy for the state House of Representatives. To be on the ballot in the November general election, Smith will need more than 300 votes in the spring primary.

“Over the years, I have been honored to have your support as a friend, a colleague, a neighbor, or in some other way,” he wrote on the site. “Today, I turn to you once again for your support as I embark upon a new endeavor: running for State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 12th District.”

Smith said his campaign will focus on community, including addressing the state's crumbling roads and the pension system. Right now, he said, state officials are interfering with choices that should be made by local decision makers. Spending cuts that are not being made at the state level are being pushed down to local officials, forcing them make tough decisions such as raising taxes in the community, he said.

“They’re not allowing them to do what they need to do,” he said.

As an educator, Smith already has an impact on his students’ lives. Becoming a representative would expand that influence, he said.

“Leaving education would be huge, but I can still make a difference in a much larger capacity,” he said.

Smith said he also is dissatisfied with the leadership shown by Metcalfe, who was first elected to Congress in 1998. 

“I am very frustrated by our current Representative who does whatever he likes or whatever his personal agenda tells him to do with no respect for our principles and no respect for the people of the district that he represents,” Smith wrote on his site. “The role of a Representative is to carry out the will of the district even when they personally disagree. That is how representative government is supposed to work.”

In January, Metcalfe butted heads with school district officials when In his letter, Metcalfe said school board members, school administrators and educators need to work together to “find alternatives to resolve budget issues rather than increasing the burden on taxpayers."

He also said the school board applied for an Act 1 waiver because “it is a near guaranteed tax increase without voter approval.”

The state Department of Education has since Although it gives the district permission to raise taxes beyond the 2-percent index, it does not mean district officials plan to do so.

Smith said he was disappointed Metcalfe did not speak to school board members to learn more about the issues the district is facing——before writing to the governor.

“He never went and discussed it with the school officials or the school board or the local officials and he creates a letter and publicizes that,” Smith said.

Describing himself as a non-political type of guy, Smith said his intention in running is not to defeat Metcalfe, but to become an advocate for the community.

“I want to make a difference," he said. "I think I can do a lot more to help people and this will provide me the opportunity to do just that."

Smith said Seneca Valley officials support his run for office. He said began knocking on doors Thursday to introduce himself to voters—many of whom already know him as a principal. He added the residents he spoke to were hungry for change.

“I think they know what I stand for and they know my passion and they know they can trust me,” he said. “It’s been a great reaction.”

Prior to leading Haine Middle School, Smith was principal at Connoquenessing Valley Elementary, assistant principal at Haine Elementary/Middle School and a fourth-grade teacher at Haine Elementary School.

Junior Achievement of Western Pennsylvania last year selected Smith as its Educator of the Year for the 2010-2011 school year. He also was given the Pennsylvania School Study Council Leadership Award in 2007.

Married to his wife Desilee for 12 years, and the father of Jace, 5, Smith graduated from Slippery Rock University in 1994 with a B.S. in elementary education. The Adams Township resident received his principal certification for kindergarten through 12th grade from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his Masters in Education, Special Education from Slippery Rock.   

To learn more about Smith's campaign, visit his site by clicking here. Keep checking back with Patch for continued election coverage.

Stella Neely April 13, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Thank you, edj!
Stella Neely April 13, 2012 at 12:33 PM
That's a thumbs up, for sure!!!
Stella Neely April 13, 2012 at 12:36 PM
I went to his office 4 months ago and ask the secretaries, two of them, to get me some information. They are so busy sitting there doing nothing that I haven't heard ANYTHING from them!
Boyerwedum April 13, 2012 at 12:44 PM
edg "Right wing nut cases" would have prevented people like Hitler (a socialist) from taking power. Instead people of limited intelligence listened and believed his rhetoric. Just like we see today on the national level with our leaders challenging our Constitutional structure and creating a racial and class divide. (Remember what happened to the Jews in the 1930's and 40's?) Let's leave this argument to the local level where the concern should be our taxpayers and their families. Oh wait, you don't have a valid argument at that level so you choose to distort the facts and when that doesn't work you twist history.
Deb Ramage April 13, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I agree with ya Stella!!
Privateschooldad April 13, 2012 at 06:11 PM
I just heard a report from the Council on Foreign Relations today. I was shocked and disgusted. “Only a third of elementary and middle-school students are competent in reading, math and science.” … “The military can’t tap the 25% of American kids who drop out of high school, and 30% of those who graduate can’t pass the Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery.” … “Even excluding teacher pensions and other benefits, per-pupil spending today is more than three times what it was in 1960 (in 2008 dollars).” (School Reform’s Establishment Turn: The Council on Foreign Relations endorses choice and competition. subscription required)The CFR reports calls for applying to education the same factors that have lead to success in other areas of human endeavor: “U.S. elementary and secondary schools are not organized to promote competition, choice, and innovation — the factors that catalyze success in other U.S. sectors.”The CFR report is U.S. Education Reform and National Security. The overview is blunt: “The United States’ failure to educate its students leaves them unprepared to compete and threatens the country’s ability to thrive in a global economy and maintain its leadership role.Do you prefer to CONTINUE deluding yourself? Is it possible for residents to see REAL TESTING results, not the one where kids are TRAINED to take a test. Why SUPPORT raising taxes year after year when the END RESULT is failure and INSTABILITY IN our educational system.
Janet Butler April 13, 2012 at 06:30 PM
privateschooldad: you are absolutely correct! We sent our 3 sons to Christian private schools from age 3 through college. The scores in their schools, compared to public schools, did not even come close! That is exactly why we need to give students vouchers to attend any school they want; then the schools would be competing for students and I guarantee the level of learning would go way up!! In fact, the government spends more now per student in public schools, than what tuition is at a private school!! And raising taxes and giving these failing schools more money will only make the problem worse!
Emma April 14, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Emma April 14, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Gold: It's nice to see a sane person leaving a comment. Everyone is so quick to point fingers. Do your research, do what you want, and leave the rest of us alone so we can do the same.
edj April 15, 2012 at 02:14 AM
bdum: "Right wing nut cases" would have prevented people like Hitler (a socialist) from taking power. Instead people of limited intelligence listened and believed his rhetoric. Just like we see today on the national level with our leaders challenging our Constitutional structure and creating a racial and class divide. (Remember what happened to the Jews in the 1930's and 40's?) You can't be serious. If so that is scary. BTW, the right wingers from the US in the 30's were isolationists and wanted no parts of Hitler, Germany or the problems in Europe.
Boyerwedum April 15, 2012 at 06:24 PM
edj I am serious especially when I speak of how the left manipulates and distorts history to suit their needs. I suggest you spend some time in the public library and look up some names in our history from that period of time. I'll give you several to look for and read up: Senator Burton K. Wheeler Charles Lindbergh Senator Robert A. Taft The 3 of them spoke out against Roosevelt and also the conservative arm of the Republican party. Yet Roosevelt was a Democrat and Taft a Republican. There was a strong isolationist movement in this country that crossed party lines and ended only with the tragic attack against us at Pearl Harbor. The cry back then was "America First!" I would also suggest you read up on the progressive movement that crated the League of Nations and how that created desperate economic conditions in Germany. Sounds like you missed something in our schools, which should bring this back to the issue of education in our schools. As a side note, the Seneca Valley School district no longer has the highest PSSA scores in Butler County. Anyone know who does and how their tax rates compares to those in Seneca Valley?
Susan Clark April 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Thank you, Steve Smith, for throwing your name in the ring. How can I get a sign for my front yard?
Gold April 16, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Another question....How does a child reach middle school and is NOT able to read past a 1st grade level. It happens. Let's ask Mr. Metcalfe and Mr. Smith how this can happen AND ask each of them how they would IMPROVE our schools (especially if taxes are raised) so we can EXTINGUISH this so it doesn't become a new trend. If stats say are kids are not prepared, how about politicians step up?!? They have used education as a platform for so long and it appears our children's academic's have declined. If so much money is being pumped into education, who is keeping tabs on where it goes? You can't tell me teachers are benefitting from this?!? Why are class sizes gigantic?!? Common sense, smaller class size, better education. WHICH is why people choose to PAY for private school in a lot of cases. J Butler and privateschooled- how many students are/were in your class during the critical learning to read years (K-3rd grade)? Let's keep focus....the children, their academia AND who is running the show.
Janet Butler April 16, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Gold, the class sizes were between 15-20 at my sons private school. But one important thing that might be lacking in the public schools is the parents were very involved. Parents backed the teachers and the students knew it. There was no classroom time wasted on discipline, which allowed all classroom time to be focused on learning. Also, since we were paying for their education, we made sure we stayed very well informed on their progress and had access to teachers at all times. These teachers also realized the investment that had been made in their students education and worked hard to provide the very best instruction. That's why I think vouchers and competition between schools would be the best and most economical solution for students today.
Gold April 16, 2012 at 02:05 AM
And that is the other CRUCIAL point....parent involvement. So very important! And yes, diminished behavior equals increased academic time. Yet when you speak to teachers, and even to students, conversations abound with stories of poor behavior. So many issues to address....again action needs to happen to correct these areas of concern. There has been a lot of talk, now the communities are demanding action. If Mr. Metcalfe is not or has not been able to solve these very important things, then maybe Mr. Smith is the likely candidate to make change happen!!!
Janet Butler April 16, 2012 at 03:01 AM
um, don't think so. The Rep job involves so much more than the school problems. Mr. Smith would just be focussed on raising taxes and working for the teachers unions. Sorry, but I think his talents would be better served in coming up with a budget the schools can afford and quit focusing on raising taxes as a solution to incompetence.
Gold April 16, 2012 at 03:23 AM
True fact, the job does entail more than education. I was just responding to that issue as that seemed to be a none of contention with those above. Hmmm....I didn't realize that "Mr Smith would just be focussef on raising taxes and working for teachers unions."....I THOUGHT the Rep job involved so much more than that. Hmmm....Mr Smith is indeed doomed if that is his only focus. Did he publicly state that? Is that his platform? Come on now!
edj April 16, 2012 at 10:49 PM
bdum: The Repub conservatives of the 1930's are nothing like the conservatives of today. Ronald Regan would not be considered conservative enough today(remember, he raised taxes around 10-11 times). Richard Nixon today would probably have to run as a Democrat. I don't what your point is, but your comparing apples or oranges. As far as the individuals you mentioned, Charles Lindbergh was an anit-semitic and actually was an admirer of Hilter and Germany. So he is not one of those right wingers you mentioned would of stopped Hilter. PLease turn off Faux news, go to the library, but don' waste your time reading right wing blogs. Educate your self.
tes April 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM
Wouldn't voucher schools be awesome. We could have religious schools for Christians, Jews and Muslims. I guess someone could even open a voucher school for atheists. Of course, taxpayers need to understand their tax dollars would be supporting all religious schools(and non-religious), not just the ones that agree with their beliefs.
Stella Neely April 16, 2012 at 11:03 PM
If we had school vouchers and the Christians would have their own schools, maybe we could get pray back in the school where it belongs! VOTE STEVE SMITH!!!
Boyerwedum April 18, 2012 at 02:35 AM
edj: Do you even know what a library is? I see that you recognized one out of the 3 names. However, only one of the 3 was considered a right winger and the one you recognized wasn't the one. Seriously, find out where the library is and start reading.
Boyerwedum April 18, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Stella: I remember praying in school. Of course some guy from Missouri was President back then. I'm not sure Mr. Smith would advocate that or support vouchers. My grandchildren like him, and people speak well of him. Perhaps he should focus on being a principal and forget politics.
edj April 18, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Bdum Why should Steve Smith do what you suggest. He can't be any worse than Joe McCarthy light. You remember him, don't you. Maybe you can take him to the library. Bet he has never seen the inside of it. The next time you use one of your socialist perks(S.S. or Medicare) take Daryl to breakfast and then to the library. P.S. - You remember praying in school, what you don't remember is the reason. Was it the test or the sweet thing sitting four seats away?
Stella Neely April 19, 2012 at 11:24 PM
A little good news last night in the Butler Eagle, if the new districts are approved Daryl Metcalfe will NO LONGER BE MY REP IN EVANS CITY! WAHOO!!!
Mary P April 23, 2012 at 10:05 PM
We need a State Representative that will set an agenda that focuses on responsible economic growth and community development. We need representation that can work collaboratively with area business leaders and educators to secure our fair share of state funding, for our district. We need leadership that that can coordinate, communicate, and yes compromise! Every vote counts, so write-in STEVE SMITH on either party ballot. Steve's name is not on the ballot, so in order to have a choice in November, for State Representative, you will need to type in under, The General Assembly, 12th Legislative District, STEVE SMITH. Misspelled names are not counted as valid votes. Every vote counts!
John A. April 23, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I am writing because it is important to me. I was once a Metcalfe supporter until I was "educated" to the pratices and preaching of this man! I will not put personal into this message but rather will inform as to fact. Article #1: Message for a Phila. newspaper: http://www.citypaper.net/cover_story/2011-07-28-daryl-metcalfe-pennsylvania-state-representative.html Please take a look at this published article. Mr. Metcalfe is a disgrace to our area and the caliber of the people we have in our community, why do we continue to support and evil man?
John A. April 23, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Here is another Daryl Metcalfe article. I have also included another article for your review. Is this the representation we want? Is this what "we" want our message to be? http://www.rightwingwatch.org/category/people/daryl-metcalfe He is speaking for us all and in return if we elect him AGAIN we are reaffirming his words......
John A. April 23, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Here is yet another Metcalfe article. He has very strong views on healthcare, this articles doesn't support his stance, which way is it? Please take a look, http://www.wtae.com/news/27046200/detail.html
John A. April 23, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Good Luck Mr. Smith, I have heard many things about your from children, adults and seniors. I respect a person that is willing to give up the accomplishments he has made to strive for the unknown because of convictions. I look forward to having the opportunity to see your work as a State Rep. Best wishes!
Boyerwedum April 24, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Edgy: Actually I do remember Joe McCarthy. As for the socialist perks (entitlements), I don't use them as I still work and employ others with families. These other help pay teachers and others with their taxes. I choose not to retire as I do not want to and would rather see others do well because of it. As for taking Daryl to breakfast, I've often talked to him. In fact, you might want to stop in to see him some time and ask him to direct you to the library across the hall from his office. Regarding my praying in school, it was open and not hidden. I prayed before tests on my own and that sweet thing may have been your mother. I might just say a prayer for you. You're not an atheist are you? If so, I'll say an extra prayer.


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