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Patricia Lawton has been nominated as the Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania Senate District 27 in the special election on January 31, 2023. Patricia has been a resident of Columbia County for over thirty years. She is the wife of Daniel Lawton, a Central Columbia graduate, and between them they have five children. Two of their sons are currently serving in the military. In 1993, she graduated from Bloomsburg University with a master’s degree in speech language pathology. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate finishing her dissertation in Administration and Leadership Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
She has a long career of providing professional services to include serving children and classrooms in the Mt. Carmel, Shamokin, Line Mountain, Bloomsburg, Danville, Milton, Berwick, Warrior Run, and Shikellamy School Districts while working for the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit. She has serviced both children and adults in healthcare, home, and school settings throughout Luzerne, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, and Snyder counties. In 2011, Patricia began her work in higher education and was a director of a graduate program in school-based speech language pathology at Bloomsburg University. Under her leadership and budget direction, this federally grant funded program was able to provide scholarships and education to significantly more students than its design originally intended. During this time, Patricia collaborated with the Office of Special Education Programs at the federal level, Pennsylvania Department of Education, and countless school districts and intermediate units throughout the eastern portion of the Commonwealth. Patricia also worked as an assistant professor at Bloomsburg University and an instructor at Penn State Harrisburg in the departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders.
Patricia, or Patty as she is known to friends, has been an active community member in the Bloomsburg area. She spent 9 years coaching and managing in Little League baseball, serving in leadership for various youth organizations, taught Sunday school, and directed vacation bible school. She has also directed choirs in local Lutheran churches within the former Buckhorn parish as well as directed the Bloomsburg Fair Vesper Choir for two years.
During the past few years, Patricia co-founded and acted as President of the Bloomsburg Parent Action Committee that supported teachers, students, and parents in resolving dysfunctional leadership in the school district. Patricia has volunteered her time to support parents that struggle to attain proper educational supports for their children. As a former local union member and leader, she has been a strong advocate and supporter for the protections of working people.