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Public School Employees' Retirement System
Two Pennsylvania Educators Elected to PSERS Board of Trustees
An election will be held later this month for the trustee representing retirees
HARRISBURG – Two teachers have been elected to serve on the Board of Trustees of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System in 2023. Both candidates ran unopposed for their respective seats and were elected by acclamation at Friday's Board meeting. Their terms begin Jan. 1, 2023.
Incumbent Trustee Jason Davis was re-elected to his third 3-year term representing active-certified members. Brian Reiser was elected to his first term representing active-certified members. His term will run for two years; it covers the remaining term of active-certified Trustee Susan C. Lemmo, who recently retired from her teaching position.
Mr. Davis teaches economics, AP microeconomics, and macroeconomics in Penn Trafford High School in the Penn Trafford School District in Westmoreland County. Mr. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in economics and history from Duquesne University, where he also earned a master's degree in Social and Public Policy Analysis. Prior to earning his teaching certificate in 2004, Mr. Davis was employed by Mellon Bank's institutional trust unit.
Mr. Reiser has been a math teacher since 1993 in the Grove City Area School District in Mercer County. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Grove City College. Mr. Reiser serves on the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) as president of the PSEA Midwestern Region. He previously held other PSEA leadership positions and served as a Stoneboro Borough Councilman.
PSERS will also hold an election later this month for the Board Trustee seat representing retirees and Class DC participants receiving distributions. The three candidates, as they appear on the ballot, are:
- Susan C. Lemmo. Mrs. Lemmo retired from the Curwensville Area School District after 31 years. She holds a BFA from IUP, and an MFA from PSU. Mrs. Lemmo has represented active certified PSERS members since 2014. She earned the Certified Public Pension Trustee accreditation from the Pennsylvania Association of Public Employees Retirement Systems (PAPERS) and has served as Treasurer of CCEJC Central Labor Council since 2005. Mrs. Lemmo resides in Clearfield with her husband, Randy. She was active in PSEA as local and region president, serving on the PSEA Board of Directors and the PSEA PACE Board. She also owns several small businesses.
- James P. Hoover. Dr. Hoover is a retired teacher, assistant principal and principal/technology coordinator, and was the Chief Executive Officer at the Pennsylvania Distance Learning Charter School, where he had full profit/loss responsibility. He earned a B.S. in Education, Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Business Administration, a Doctorate in Education, and completed his PA Principal and Superintendent certification. He currently operates a tax and financial consulting practice, serves on two HOA boards, and completed coursework to qualify for the Certified Financial Planner designation. He received the National PTA's Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Hoover and his wife of 46 years like to travel.
- Russell James Diesinger. Mr. Diesinger is a retired teacher from Reading School District where he taught government, economics, and criminal justice. His background includes experience as PASR president-elect, PASR VP, PSBA region director, VP of the Reading Education Association, and PSEA County PACE chair. He served as Board member, VP, and curriculum chair at Exeter Township School District for 16 years, where his responsibilities included oversight of a $75M annual budget. He served 4 terms as a member on the Berks Career and Technology Center Board, and currently serves as PASR Finance Committee Chair. Mr. Diesinger has four adult children and eight grandchildren.
Ballots will be mailed on Oct. 31, 2022, for the retired member seat and the results will be announced in December 2022.
About the Board of Trustees
The 15-member Board of Trustees is an independent administrative board of the Commonwealth. The Board stands in a fiduciary relationship to the members of PSERS regarding investment decisions and disbursements of the System's funds. The Board also performs other functions outlined in the Public School Employees' Retirement Code, such as certifying contribution rates, authorizing the actuarial valuation and independent audit of the System, and publishing an annual financial statement of the condition of the Retirement Fund. In addition, the Board oversees the operational activities performed by the System's Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer.
About the Pennsylvania Public School Employees' Retirement System
PSERS, founded in 1917, began operations in 1919 to oversee a statewide defined benefit pension plan for public school employees. PSERS' role expanded upon the passage of Act 5 of 2017 to include oversight of two new benefit options consisting of defined benefit and defined contribution (DC) components and a stand-alone DC plan. As of March 31, 2022, PSERS had total net assets of $75.9 billion and a membership of about 248,000 active, 243,000 retired school employees and 26,000 vested inactive members.