Monday, April 25, 2011

Spotlight on Lou Nudi - North Hills School Board

1.      Please provide our readers with a brief paragraph introducing yourself that provides them with a snapshot of your background.
     I am a graduate of West View High School (now North Hills), Valley Forge Military College with an AA in Business Administration, and the University of Pittsburgh with a BS in Economics.  I served 7 years as an Officer in the Army and 16 years with Westinghouse where I worked in Procurement, Project Management, Sales, and Marketing.  Now I am self-employed as a manufacturers’ agent for industrial fasteners, machining, and stampings.  Prior to my election to the board, I made several adversarial presentations to the board relative to the Martorelli Stadium construction mismanagement, a former Superintendent’s lame-duck contract, tax increases, and declining academic and financial performance.
2.      What qualifications and skills will you bring to this position?  For incumbents, please do not reference the number of years you have served in office as a qualification.
     My military service and civilian employment provided me with skills in leadership and critical thinking which developed a mission oriented mind-set.  My business, as a self- employed professional, requires me to be fiscally responsible.  Consequently, my personal philosophy or mission as a board member is to provide for and expect the best possible educational outcome at the lowest possible expenditure of taxpayer funds.
3.      Why do you seek this elected office?
     In my initial term, my desire to run for this office was two-fold:  first, to facilitate improved student academic performance and second, to consolidate the elementary schools.  The cost savings from the consolidation provided funding for the expansion and modernization of the buildings and equipping them with state-of-the-art educational technology.  My goals for another term are to facilitate continued improvement of academic performance and to be more active with the Pennsylvania School Board Association in order to influence legislation that is favorable to the public school system and maintains local control of schools.
4.      What do you think is the most important issue facing North Hills School District in the coming years?  How do you plan to address it?
     The most important issue facing North Hills School District in the future is financial.  Revenues from local, state and federal sources are decreasing and property tax increases are capped at the State Index, which approximates the inflation rate.  This situation is further exacerbated by state-mandated increased contributions by our school district to the under-funded teachers’ pension fund.  In short, expenditures are exceeding revenues.  My plan is to continue to right-size the staff, to support expansion of the North Hills Cyber Academy, which will stem the flow of reimbursements to out-of-district cyber schools, and to review all programs and reduce or eliminate those that do not contribute to basic education.  To accomplish this, I would, if necessary, raise taxes to the limits of the State Index or have any additional tax increase placed on referendum for public approval.
5.      If elected, what single change will your try to make to North Hills School District?  Why this change?
     If elected to a second term, I may be called upon to vote on a new teachers’ contract.  I will only vote favorably for a contract that contains salary increases that are reasonable, more sharing of benefit costs, and terms that facilitate efficient administration and management of the district.
6.      How are you different from your opponent(s)?
     This question is difficult to answer as I am not familiar enough with my opponents other than those who are currently on the board.  Relative to my incumbent opponents, I am philosophically on the same page with all but one.  I am consistent in my decision making and act with courage even when results may not be the most popular.  I am responsive to constituent complaints and strive to resolve their issues or achieve understandings.  Relative to the four non-incumbents, I know that two are fiscally conservative.  Another candidate is a teacher and I have little knowledge about the fourth.
7.      For incumbents, what is one decision that you have made in your role as North Hills School board member that you regret?  What would you have done differently and why?
     I regret voting for a tax increase in my first year on the board.  The proposed budget was supposedly in deficit, but actually it produced in a million-dollar surplus.  The following year I voted to reduce taxes by half of the previous year’s increase.
8.      For new candidates, what is one decision that you feel North Hills School Board has made that had a negative impact?  What would you have done differently and why?  What is one decision the North Hills School District has made that had a positive impact and why?
    Not applicable
9.      Why do you live within the North Hills School District?
     I live in the North Hills School District because I was raised here and have lived here all of my life except during my military service.  I was always proud of the district that provided me and my two sons with excellent educations.  Approximately 10 years ago, however, the Standard and Poor’s evaluations of the district, when compared with peer districts, began to slip.  This caused me to become a board adversary, then a board candidate, and ultimately a board member.  Fortunately, as a result of the current administration and faculty, this trend was reversed and is improving every year.
10.   What is the best part about North Hills School District?
     The best things about North Hills School District are its diverse student body, vibrant and involved faculty, and very capable administration.  Additionally, the curriculum offers opportunities not found in most districts – specifically, an extensive technical/industrial arts or pre-engineering program, an exceptional art and music program, and a nationally recognized advanced placement program.
11.   Where do you think North Hills School District will be 4 years from now?  How will you be instrumental in moving it in that direction?
     I believe that North Hills School District will continue to improve academically and will have the premier K-12 on-line academy in Pennsylvania.  I foresee more National Merit Scholars and the district continuing to appear on the Newsweek list of top 1500 schools.  My role will be to assure the fiscal viability of the district and to provide the Administration, faculty, and staff with support, encouragement, and recognition of their efforts. 

1 comment:

  1. Lou - Thanks for taking the time to respond to the Candidate Spotlight.

    After reviewing your answers I have one question: What current NHSD program or programs do you belive do not contribute to "basic" education?