Leadership and character showed up at August 18 school board meeting

Upwards of 85 people were in attendance at tonight’s monthly meeting of the Columbia Borough School District school board meeting. seated front and center of the assembled board was Dr. Robert Hollister, superintendent of the new trial joint executive services combination of two school districts.

All of Columbia’s board members were there except Tammy Mattern. Board president Cole Knighton brought the meeting to order at 6:59 pm.

Click on the graphic below to see the agenda.


There were many parts of the agenda and the meeting that bear more mention; we will have follow up posts about them in coming days.

Two extremely significant statements were shared during the meeting that ended at 8:43 pm.


Board member Kathleen Hohenadel, who voted against the shared services agreement a few months ago because she felt the board rushed into it without due diligence, read this statement (click on the graphic to enlarge).


The courage Ms. Hohenadel exhibited as she read the statement was “Cincinnatus quality.”

A very long and sustained applause followed the reading.

Rather than acknowledge her statement, the board president muttered some praise for the newly announced director of operations, and former school board president, Tom Strickler. Some in the audience managed a few claps following his meek effort.


The superintendent introduced a concept that would automate future meeting agendas and result in having them posted at least two days in advance of meetings. He cited cost savings and serving the public by demonstrating transparency.

The cost of the software for the transparency and automation is under $3,500 a year and the first year is free. Eastern Lancaster County School District already uses the platform.

We wonder why this has not been done before; each of the school board directors has a laptop computer that’s used during meetings.


Here’s FOX43-TV‘s report | “Shared superintendent in Lancaster County raises concerns”


So when did lying become de rigueur? Elected public servants; juiced up professional athletes … and now olympic athletes?

liars pantsPinocchio was an amateur when compared to modern day liars!

Still trying to connect dots |

Dot … While trying to navigate the cumbersome Columbia School District Website, we finally stumbled on the April 18 Columbia Borough School Board/ Columbia Borough Council Meeting Minutes: “Superintendent Search – Dr. Ken Klawitter announced a recommendation to explore the possibility of a shared leadership structure with Eastern Lancaster County School District. Dr. Robert Hollister would assume the responsibility of serving both districts as the Commissioned Officer and Superintendent. It is anticipated that consolidation of resources will benefit both the employees and the students of both school districts and communities. More information will follow at the May Board meeting.”

Dot … From the minutes of theCOLUMBIA BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT REGULAR BOARD MEETING, THURSDAY, APRIL 21, 2016 | nothing, nada, zip, zilch on the topic of shared leadership.

Dot … From the minutes of the COLUMBIA BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT COMMITTEE OF THE  WHOLE DISTRICT  THURSDAY, MAY 12, 2016: “Dr. Klawitter requested two board members to meet with ELANCO as representatives in continued discussions and negotiations regarding a shared leadership agreement with ELANCO for the 2016/2017 school year. Vickie Anspach and Kathy Hohenadel will represent the CBSD.
President Tom Strickler recused himself from any discussions regarding ELANCO shared Leadership agreement because of his intent to apply for the Administrative position at CBSD.”

Dot … From the minutes COLUMBIA BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT REGULAR BOARD MEETING, THURSDAY, MAY 19, 2016 “Approval of the appointment of Board Personnel Committee Chair, Vickie Anspach and Board Finance Committee Chair, Kathleen Hohenadel to serve as the District’s representatives in continued discussions and negotiations with the Eastern Lancaster County School District regarding a potential joint administrative agreement for the 2016//2017 school year. District representatives are authorized to engage legal counsel as appropriate to assist in these negotiations and, should the District representatives determine that a joint administrative agreement is in the best interests of the District, to draft a proposed joint administrative agreement for consideration by this Board at a future meeting.”

Dot … “Tom Strickler, long-time member and president of the Columbia Borough School District school board. Strickler “resigned at the board’s June 16 meeting” according to a July 5 LNP – Always Lancaster “Insider” article. The minutes for that meeting are not posted at the “out-of-date” Columbia Borough School District Website.” – Columbia news, views & reviews

From the same Columbia news, views & reviews article: “The Insider article at Lancaster Online contains the elusive downloadable “Statement of Work” created on June 22, 2016 – after Strickler’s resignation date.

LNP article 8-16

“Remember Columbia Borough School District has contracted for technological services with ELANCO; there is no mention of that at the Columbia Borough School Board Minutes for that date.”


  1. Thanks for your coverage on this controversial topic. A big thanks to Kathy Hohenadel for the statement that she read during the meeting last night. Also, thanks goes out to Fran Resch and all the others that addressed the board. At least we can say that we tried and that we stood up for our position, regardless of the outcome.

  2. The order of the day should be this:
    Tom Stickler is not qualified for current position, remove him immediately.
    Cole Knighton is not qualified for current position remove him immediately, Stickley and Knighton are a JOKE.
    Ms Kathy Hohendadel should be president of the school board. Columbia is the laughing stock of lancaster county. It is long overdue for the state of Pa to step in and legislate a merger of the Columbia School District. What we currently have is incompetency at it finest.

  3. After reading and hearing Kathy Hohenadel address to the school board and public, she showed professionaism. She should be president of the board. She will not be a pawn. Most times when the president resigns.from his position, the vice president assumes the duties of president. Not in this case. Seems odd.

    • Odd might be one of the softest words that comes to mind. Seems downright questionable or corrupt to us. Parliamentary procedure normally states something like this: “The bylaws should state who takes the President’s place. Usually the Vice President steps up. However, some weird bylaws may state that the Past President steps back into the position. If the President resigns, the order of succession is to have the Vice-President take the position of President and then fill the vacancy of the Vice President.”

      We have been having some difficulty obtaining school board policy (bylaws) on this; a call to the School District has not yielded results at this point.

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