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2023 Democratic Candidates

*School Board Candidates*

Heath Shrum

Go to to learn more about these highly qualified school board candidates

Heath Shrum and his family have been residents in the Norwin School District for twenty two years. He and his wife have two daughters; one who graduated in 2022 and one who is a junior at Norwin High School.  The value of a quality education runs throughout the Shrum family as Heath has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education, and is a teacher at Gateway School District. Heath believes strongly that learning never stops no matter your age. He prides himself as a passionate and pragmatic person, who can use common sense and compromise to arrive at decisions.


His decision making with respect to school board issues will always be based in putting the interests and needs of the students first while being respectful of the effects on taxpayers throughout Norwin. Heath wants to create positive results for the entire community and will not run to be a pawn in any political machine. He is committed to making this great district even greater. Heath is of the mindset that he can either be part of the problem or part of  the solution. He has chosen to be part of the solution by maintaining respectful relationships with all stakeholders of the Norwin School Community.


Tim Kotch, Sr.

Tim is a lifelong resident of Norwin. He and his wife of forty four years raised their  two adult children here, and now the their children are raising Tim’s six  grandchildren here as well. This is the district and community that Tim and his family are committed to supporting and believing in. Tim has served in the United States Army, has multiple degrees in both engineering and education, has worked as math teacher, department chair, assistant principal, principal, and assistant superintendent for secondary education at Norwin.  He is also an active member of the Norwin Rotary and President of the Board of Directors of the Norwin Teachers Federal Credit Union. He and his wife are members of St. Agnes Parish and often attend mass at Immaculate Conception Parish most Sundays with their daughter’s family.


Tim believes some current school board decisions are based on the political climate rather than the true needs of the district. Decisions to remove certain aspects of the curriculum to appease a political agenda are worrisome. The current situation causes him great concern for the education of his grandchildren and all students in the school district. Tim believes the purpose of our school board is to focus on the needs of the students, teachers, parents, administration, and the Norwin community in a reasonable and respectful way.


Matt Thomas

Matt and his wife have been proud members of the North Huntingdon community since 2017.  They have two sons attending Norwin High School and Norwin Middle School.  An educator of 26 years, Matt has been a teacher, technology coordinator, assistant principal, high school principal, director of professional development and assessment, and curriculum specialist across three school districts and an intermediate unit.  He currently serves as the Student Services Director for the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit, leading programs and services that support learners aged 3 to 21 and their families.  He has served as a school board president and board member in the Westmont Hilltop School District. Matt earned a Bachelor of Science from Pitt-Johnstown, a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Saint Vincent College, and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Pittsburgh.  Matt believes in the Margaret Meade quote, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

The Thomas family relocated to North Huntingdon to become embedded into an incredible community supported by the Norwin School District. Due to demonstrated teaching, leadership, and student achievement excellence, Matt is proud of our school district's academics, arts, and athletic programs.  He pledges to listen to our community, forging decisions based upon facts, building consensus across people and groups of differing opinions, and ensuring that the school district provides a world-class education for generations to follow.


Nina Totin

Nina and her husband are both graduates of the class of 2010 from Norwin and have chosen to stay here to raise their two young children. Her father and both  in-laws also graduated from Norwin.  This is her community, and she greatly values the educational experience they received  from Norwin School District. She is involved in the PTA at Sunset Valley and enjoys working with the school district and students at Norwin very much. Family is her whole life, and she feels a sense of responsibility to give back to this area for her children's future.


Bill Bojalad

Bill and his wife have been members of the North Huntingdon community since 1995. They have two daughters that graduated from Norwin. He has been involved with the Norwin Band Aides serving in the capacities of vice-president, president, past president, budget director, and parking coordinator. He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Pittsburgh Traffic Club and a food distribution system volunteer for the Westmoreland County Food Bank. Currently, Bill works for TMS International as its senior director of global logistics. Prior to joining TMS International in 2020, he worked for United States Steel Corporation and its subsidiary Transtar as its director of marketing, engineering, and logistics. Bill has two degrees, an MBA from Waynesburg University and a B.S. in Supply Chain Management from the Pennsylvania State University.

Bill believes that Norwin students, educators, and staff deserve to have a supportive and respectful school board. He feels that his range of experience and expertise will provide a voice for the teachers, staff, and students while supporting taxpayers and the community. The Bojalads believe they found a hidden gem to raise their family. Norwin has an excellent school system  with the finest music, chorus, and theater programs available at any public school in America. Their daughters thrived at Norwin and are excelling at Penn State University. He feels indebted to this community and wants to give back.


North Irwin Borough Council

*Dawn Ziros*
*Sue Kochman*

Westmoreland County Commissioner Candidates

*Ted Kopas*

Ted Kopas served as Westmoreland County Commissioner from 2010-2020, in both political majority and minority roles. He has spent his career in both public service and the private sector serving people and our communities. He knows well, respects, and delivers the balance between fiscal responsibility and providing critical services to those in need. Ted has a proven record of establishing priorities and programs that enhance our communities, our economy, public safety, human services and our quality of life.

To learn more about Ted go to:



Candidate For Westmoreland County Sheriff

Tommy John Hamacher

My name is Tommy John Hamacher and I am running for Westmoreland county Sheriff. I am not a politician but a concerned citizen who is stepping up to fill the role of sheriff in our county. I worked as an over the road truck driver for 18 years and also was a driver for the Westmoreland County Blind Association. I have been a Constable with Westmoreland county for 12 years, most recently with East Huntingdon Township. I am a very compassionate and caring person who is concerned about  the future of Westmoreland residents. I plan to utilize the Constables of this county in a more effective role as they are the backbone of the sheriffs departments. My goal is to make our residents feel safe in their homes and in their community.    


Supreme  Court Candidate
(1 seat up)

Superior Court Candidates
(2 seats up)

Commonwealth Court Candidate

*Matt Wolf*

Matt Wolf is currently the Supervising Civil Judge of the Philadelphia Municipal Court (PMC), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He oversaw the PMC's eviction diversion program evolution into a "national model" 

recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice, locally, statewide, and nationally. Currently engaged in multi-year effort to modernize and transform the Civil Division with an eye toward equity, access to justice and national best practices. Prior to being elected to the PMC, Judge Wolf practiced law in the Delaware Valley, mostly suing for civil rights. He filed numerous lawsuits based on housing, race, gender, pregnancy, disability, police misconduct, and whistle-blower protection.

Matt Wolf is currently a drilling member of the Alpha Troop, 1-104th Squadron, 28th Infantry Division, Philadelphia, PA.

He has received many military awards including the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.


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