Republican East Penn School Board Candidate Chris Donatelli says that in spite of what people are saying, he did not address the school board at Monday night's meeting as part of a publicity stunt or "plot" for his candidacy.
Donatelli delivered a prepared statement during the public comment portion of the meeting seeking the board's help with an issue near and dear to his heart -- the fact that the Emmaus High School championship rifle team was somehow omitted from the 2012-2013 yearbook.
Donatelli's son Stephen, now an Emmaus High alum, was a member of that championship team. And, Donatelli told the board on Monday that his family was disappointed when the yearbook arrived about two weeks ago with no mention of the boys' accomplishment and not even a picture of the team.
While not a election stunt, Donatelli does admit that his campaign and the work he has done to learn about the school board and how it works did teach him the steps he should take in bringing the yearbook issue to the board.
"I framed things in a way that I'd be addressing the board in such as way to satisfy their requirements," he explains.
Since Monday, Donatelli says the yearbook issue has gotten "a whole lot of newsprint" and he and other parents are hopeful that it's "gained enough traction" for some sort of resolution to be reached.
At the meeting, he suggested to the school board that some sort of addendum to the yearbook be published, highlighting the rifle team.
While Donatelli could not say for sure what, if anything, is being done by East Penn, he did share that he received a letter from Superintendent Thomas L. Seidenberger stating that the matter is "a high school issue" and suggesting that Donatelli make an appointment with Emmaus High Principal Dave Piperato.
Donatelli says he also heard through the grapevine that the Dennis Ramella, the high school athletic director had contacted the team's former coach and asked for a team picture.
"It wasn't my goal to do this in front of the board," Donatelli said. "This is not for political gain. It has been for the kids.
"I didn't choose for my son to be on the rifle team," he said. "I didn't choose for team to be left out of the yearbook."