School board chooses interim member; opts in on Raptor Security

Tending to unfinished business, the Unionville-Chadds Ford School Board appointed Leticia Flores De Wilde as interim member of the board. She replaces Frank Murphy who resigned in June. Flores De Wilde will serve until the November election when the public votes on the position.

The board also voted on July 15 to accept the Raptor Security system at each of the six school buildings in the district.

Flores DeWilde, 41, is an attorney who lives in Pennsbury Township with her husband and two children. Born in Mexico, she came to the United States in 1977.

She was away on vacation when the vote was taken, but she made herself available for a telephone interview the following morning. She wants to serve on the school board to “give back to the community,” she said. “I found I could contribute my time and experience to the school board.“

Flores DeWilde said there’s nothing specific she wants to accomplish, but added she does want to work with other board members to maintain the district’s “unparalleled academic excellence. I look forward to working with the board for the benefit of our community and our schools.”

The July appointment has her serving until the general election in November when voters will decide who should serve out the remainder of Murphy’s term. She will face at least one person in November, that being Dell Joshi of Chadds Ford Township.

Joshi and Flores DeWilde were the two nominees who the board considered during the July meeting. Flores DeWilde won 5-3. She will be sworn in during the August meeting.

There were originally six candidates and the board held a vote in June. The two highest vote getters that month were Joshi and Carol Biederman, but neither received the five votes necessary. Biederman withdrew her candidacy before the July meeting and Flores DeWilde was nominated. Had no candidate received the requisite five votes, the matter would have gone to the Chester County Court of Common Pleas.

In another holdover from June, the board voted 7-1 to accept Raptor Visitor Security System for the district buildings. As previously reported, the cost of the system is $11,200 initially, then an additional $480 per school per year.

Adult visitors to any of the schools would have to show a driver’s license or other state issued ID card that would be scanned and the name run through a sex offender database.

If the visitor’s name is flagged as being that of someone on such a list, texts or other alerts can be sent to teachers and administrators. Policies and procedures on how to handle that type of situation would have to be developed.

The board tabled the June vote so members could get more information.

Board directors agreed that Raptor could not prevent a Sandy Hook type of incident, President Eileen Bushelow and Director Kathy Do said they liked having a uniform check-in system for each of the schools.

Director Holly Manzone was the lone dissenting vote.

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About Rich Schwartzman

Rich Schwartzman has been reporting on events in the greater Chadds Ford area since September 2001 when he became the founding editor of The Chadds Ford Post. In April 2009 he became managing editor of ChaddsFordLive. He is also an award-winning photographer.

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