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About the Candidates

Matthew Smith

As the youngest of the five candidates, I am currently 36 years old. I grew up in the West York/Spring Grove area, and graduated from York County (charter) High School in 2005 while working as a full-time auto mechanic and part time contractor. 

In 2011 I entered the Insurance/Financial field and within the first quarter was promoted to unit field training manager for the Harrisburg regional office, to teach new agents my method of most effective retirement planning for our large baby boomer population. At any one time, my agency held over $20 million under management in secured/guaranteed accounts for clients, for which I personally processed annual and quarterly distributions.

As owner and founder of, and business consultant for several south central PA businesses for over a decade, I am no stranger to projections, goals, risk management, regulatory compliance, employee management, team building goals, and follow through.

Most of my time is spent in a variety of ways as a contractor and consultant in the construction and consumer products industries, husband and father, advocate to protect women and children from abuse in conjunction with associated private and governmental agencies, elementary school presentation volunteer in several districts, active board member of the 4 Ayden Strong foundation to benefit local families fighting pediatric cancer, advocate and liaison to train and license needed resource/foster families in York and Adams counties, advocate for pediatric and social work mental health, and too many more affiliations to list.

My wife and I have been actively involved in the county judicial system, CPS/CYF, and foster care since 2011 and have specialized in intellectual/developmental disabilities as well as physical and sexual abuse/trauma.

We have 2 daughters of our own, and currently have infant and toddler siblings we are in the process of adopting to remove them from the system. We also have a 12 year old with intellectual/developmental disabilities, and last year the court granted us full custody so we could also remove him from the system and lighten the case load of the overworked county agency.

I continue working with local, county, and state officials, educators, and legislators on an ongoing list of problems to find and implement solutions. From education, to wildlife preservation, to tax structures, waste/fraud/abuse, and fiscal responsibility. 

  • My goals as part of the team in SWSD is to provide fair, safe, and equal education for our future generations. 

  • Teach children how to think and not what to think, free from political ideology, activism, or ulterior motive.

  • Allow teachers to teach again, and not entirely rely on computers to teach.

  • Help establish better communication between Administrators, Teachers, Parents, and the multiple agencies to not only allow and encourage drastic increases in literacy rates, but also retain great teachers with a passion for teaching excellence.

  • Efficient accounting, responsibility, accountability, and transparency to students, parents, and tax payers.

  • Coordinate with all available resources to reduce or eliminate mental health decline associated with social issues, bullying, and drug use.

I am running for school director because I care about all the children, not just my own, and not to forget the parents, teachers, and tax payers either.

Keith Gelsinger

  • Lived in Hanover Pa for 11 years since I retired from the military with my wife, daughter and 2 dogs. 

  • Retired Marine officer with 24 years of service. Navigated through the enlisted ranks, followed by Warrant Officer ranks, ultimately retiring as a Major. 

  • Received countless awards and citations during my career for leadership during peacetime and combat operations. 

  • Served at many duty stations and completed several deployments including 4 combat deployments in Iraq and Kosovo. 

  • Father of an 11 year old daughter currently attending Manheim elementary school transitioning to middle school next year.

  • Motorcycle instructor at several locations in Maryland and quality assurance representative for Harley-Davidson.

  • Local business owner and youth athletic coach for Ninja Logic.

  • College degree in Business Management from Columbia Southern University. 

  • Completed top level leadership schools in the United States Marine Corps. 

  • Certified in Lean Six Sigma.  Relies on collaboration to improve performance by eliminating waste.

  • Assigned to the Presidential Helicopter Squadron detail, traveled the world with the President of the United States of America known as Marine One. Granted the highest level of security clearance during this tenure in the Marine Corps. 

  • Unmatched leadership skills and experience can be utilized to truly represent the views and beliefs of our students, staff and community members. I can assist in developing creative solutions to difficult problems. 

  • Managed asset accounts valued over a few hundred million dollars. Excelled in cost benefit analysis. 

  • Member of the program management team for the AV-8B harrier program office responsible for all testing, evaluation and logistics for the platform for the entire Marine Corps and international partners. 

  • Possess the confidence needed to face the toughest challenges and have a proven track record of demonstrating natural leadership. 

  • Have an ability to recognize other's strengths and rely on their expertise while learning from them to be part of a team. Open minded willing to discuss and compromise but stand my ground for my beliefs and the best interest for the community and children. 

Justin Lighty

I grew up in Spring Grove in a Christian household.  I attended Christian school of York.  I started working at Giant foods when I was 16, pushing carts. By 18 I was a "front end lead" and worked in various departments after that. I became a manager at 20 and managed many different stores in York County, Adams County,  and Maryland. I balanced the financials, worked on the budget, and evaluated payroll, profit and loss. I was involved in and oversaw the hiring and termination of hundreds of employees.  As well as maintaining quality standards around the store in fresh departments. I am certified through Pennsylvania food safety. But most importantly, I managed people. As a manager my focus was always on the associates and the customers. I listened to their concerns and found solutions. I was in charge of all customer complaints and took every one seriously. I stopped working in 2018 after 20 years in management. My wife and I wanted a more stable home for our children. I now have 7 children ages 20-2. Currently I am an active member of the PTO. This year will be my 10th year volunteering with Junior Achievement for grade levels K-12. In addition I volunteer in the schools whenever possible for activities like Ag bus, field trips, 5th grade interviews for Biz Town, Book Fair and gym-O-ree. 

My main goal on this board will be to make sure all of our kids have a safe place to learn about topics that will make them successful in life. I want to use modern technology to impart classic curriculum.  We will focus on true history,  and factual biology, math skills that can excite children into more STEM fields, and literature that teaches and uplifts. 

Finally I want to be able to budget all the necessary tools for our children to be successful and enjoy learning while still maintaining a budget that doesn't require a maximum tax increase every year. As a member of a 9 person board I will listen to opinions and evaluate them all heavily. As a board member my plan is to continue to be involved in the school at all levels and address concerns from an inside view. I want to obtain staff opinions, hear their needs and act accordingly. As a stay at home father I have the time and desire to be all in.  I will treat every person with love and respect,  but I will not go against my morals as taught from a biblical foundation, and I will stand up and protect my children and yours from a woke virus that is infecting our great country.  

Katy Bauer

I started my first business at 13, won a Junior Entrepreneurs award at 17, was nominated and chosen to become a global business consultant [Mentor] at 23. I bought into my first franchise and got married to the most supportive person anyone would be blessed to know at 24. I earned a Manager of the Year award, based on merit out of a pool of more than 6000 at 25, was nominated and chosen to become a Regional Business Development Manager [Area Director] and gifted a failing franchise to rebuild at 26. I purchased an additional two franchises later that same year and was hired full time at 34 while raising two amazing young children, when I chose to sell the businesses.

I’ve worked in business operations, Customer Support, Tech Support, Business development, Communications, PR, IT departments- just to name a few. My life and business experiences have molded my character and integrity. I do not tout these achievements out of pride, but out of gratitude and joy. One of the achievements for which I am most joyous however, is what Mr. Lighty and I accomplished on November 2nd, 2021. I have worked for the same company for 20 years of the 30 they’ve been in business, and have grown as an entrepreneur, a businesswoman, and most importantly, a contributing American. I earned every single vote, including employees within this district who were/are afraid of retribution should they publicly make those insights known. Mr. Lighty & I earned more than 1000 votes on election day, with a less than 3-minute conversation. We were told that we garnered the highest number of write-ins in the history of the county. I personally witnessed the recount of all ballots and there were voters who literally only voted for me and no other candidates.

I’m certain you will begin to understand how very well qualified I am for this position. I know that others have chosen to run for the 5 open seats, and I respect their decision and actions accordingly. However, I personally can only speak for Mr. Lighty, Mr. Smith, Mr. Gelsinger, and Ms. Brennan because of their consistency and commitment. 

We love Hanover and look forward to the next four years in this district.

Christianne Brennan

  • Raised in the South ( Georgia), Grew up attending Catholic School from K-12th grade.

  • Grew up Going to church weekly, with rules and being held accountable in my school work, along with household chores.

  • I received a traditional education where we stood for the Pledge during homeroom, focused on Math, Science, English, History, Vocabulary, Reading and Writing.

  • I was an honor roll student 

  • I graduated from York College with with honors and as a Member of the PsiChi National Honor Society ( Psychology) 

  • My senior year study on Cognitive memory yielded significant results and was published in the York College of PA behavioral science journal. 

  • I attended and received my Masters degree while being a full time working mom of 4 kids.

  • 22 Years as a Parent of 4 & Tax Paying Citizen in SWSD

  • 2 years in social services/kids day treatment case management

  • 12 years experience in owning a home daycare/ pre K teaching business

  • 3 years teaching experience including 1 year 1st grade teaching, 1 year substitute teacher in SWSD and one year substitute experience at HPSD

  • 10 years experience in owning and managing side home business

  • 8 years experience in mental health therapy

  • 1.5 years experience in clinical trauma therapy

  • 7 years experience in working along side children and youth clients and professionally testifying for clients mental health for York county judges.

  • Masters Degree in Elementary Education/teaching

  • Bachelors Degree in Psychology-double minor in criminal justice and special education

  • Certified Clinical Trauma Specialist

  • 3 kids graduated from SWSD and 1 currently in the district

  • Involved in SW sports and Music Dept

  • Have been asked to apply to the York County Youth Juvenile Aid Panel Board ( juvenile diversion program)

  • Certified in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Domestic Violence therapy.

  • My motivation has always been to make sure all kids grow up safe, and loved. Mental and emotional health is such a driving factor for me as I see it day to day among my clients and with my own kids. I am seeing the decline of what is being taught versus what should be taught and it breaks my heart as I know how I grew up learning.

About the Candidates: Text
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