MASSENA — The six candidates for two seats on the Massena Central School District School Board made their case during a candidates’ forum Monday at the Massena Community Center.
The candidates for the seats held by Loren J. Fountaine and David W. LaClair Jr. are Kristy A. Baker, Sarah L. Boyce, Christopher R. Castell, Susan B. Lambert, Zachary J. Monroe and Daniel J. Tusa. Seats are for five-year terms.
Ms. Baker is a former board member.
“I’ve had the pleasure of serving on the school board before and I know the commitment it takes. My local involvement in education has sensitized me to the needs of the young children I teach as well as the needs of their families,” said Ms. Baker. “From next year, I will have children in high school, middle school and elementary school, which will give me the opportunity to stay connected at all levels.”
“As a parent with children in this district, I want to be as involved as possible and help make their time in Massena Central School District as amazing as it was when I was in school,” she added. “If elected, my main priority would be to focus on the bullying that takes place in our schools. I hope that by working with students, parents, teachers and administrators, we can build a stronger and safer school system for all of our children.
Ms. Boyce is a retired principal of Massena Central High School.
“Education has been my lifelong career. I have worked in all areas of public education from kindergarten through high school. I started working as an elementary school teacher early in my career and then worked at the high school level as a special education teacher. The last 12 years before retirement were spent in several administrative positions in the Massena Central School District, with the high school principal being my last,” she said. Currently, I am employed by St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) as a special education teacher and at North Country Community College as a business teacher.”
She said her educational experience could be valuable within the school board.
“Each candidate has a unique set of skills and experiences. I have been fortunate enough to work in education at all levels and can use the skills and experiences I have gained over the years to make sound decisions at BOE level,” she said. declared.
Mr. Castell said his main priority if elected to the council “is to help preserve and improve the quality of education in Masséna because I believe in quality public education for all children. This is important for current and future students.
“I am running for the school board to be a channel for the voice of parents, teachers, school staff and community members. I want to make sure everyone has a voice when it comes to educating our young people,” Castell said. “I am an effective communicator and I work well with others. I think those are two essential skills to serve as a board member. I coach young people in softball and I actively participate in the Ready for School event in Massena every year.
He said he had every interest in preserving and improving the quality of Masséna’s school system.
“My kids go to Massena and my wife is a Massena employee,” he said. “I will also make sure to listen to the voice of my constituents and ensure that all voices are heard and represented. I feel that my skills to work well with others and be a good listener allow me to represent different groups in our community. It will also allow me to positively influence the fiscal health of the district. In addition, my strong interest in the well-being and quality of the Masséna school sets me apart from other candidates.
Ms. Lambert is expected to retire from the district in June, after working in education for many years as a school psychologist, special education teacher, international school principal, adult education teacher and assistant professor. of university. She has served as the district’s director of special education since 2000.
“During this time, I have acquired many skills that I hope to apply if I become a member of the board of directors. In June, I will be retiring from the Massena Central School District and look forward to continuing to serve the district by working as a school board member,” Ms. Lambert said. “Furthermore, I have a positive and curious nature, I look forward to helping Massena continue to move forward, I have a desire to give back to the community and I am a lifelong learner. life.”
She said she wants to work with the school board, Superintendent Patrick H. Brady, school staff, and the community “to promote and continue to develop exemplary programs for all students.”
“As no student learns the same way, it is extremely important to continue to support the excellent programs that Massena has developed for its students and to always look to the future by seeking new and innovative options,” said Ms. Lambert.
Mr. Monroe previously served as Executive Director of the Police Activities League of Massena, formerly the Boys and Girls Club of Massena.
“Having worked in partnership with the district for several years. I also have a solid understanding of our school system. I know the structure of the school, its strengths, many teachers and administrators, and the wonderful things our district does well. However, I also know the internal/external challenges facing the district and the plans for improvement,” Monroe said. “I research and keep up to date with school information, watch board meetings, finances, and learn about the school board’s resource page.”
Mr. Monroe said his near-term priorities would be to “ensure that phase three of the capital project is successful as planned and develop a working relationship with current members of the board of directors and the superintendent, d Analyze current district priorities (attendance, graduation rates, and standardized test scores).
“Long-term priorities,” he said, “include focusing on a balanced school budget that appropriates resources accordingly for students and teachers. I would also like to see the district continue to advance the community schools initiative and the social-emotional learning structure.
Mr. Tusa is a teacher in the Malone Central School District and his three daughters attend Massena Central Schools.
“It continues to be a pleasure to watch my three daughters learn and grow within the MCS community. The exceptional programming offered by the district is the result of thoughtful planning and decision-making,” said Mr. Tusa. “My goal as a school board nominee is to contribute to the continued growth and success of a school district. If elected, my only priority is to support and advocate for continued growth through collaboration between the district, all staff and the community.
“I am an advocate for public education and view serving on the MCS School Board as an opportunity to become more involved. I know the challenges our children face both as a parent and an educator,” Mr. Tusa added. “For over 20 years I have worked alongside district administrators, secretarial staff, teachers, support staff, cafeteria staff, bus drivers, cleaners, janitors and cleaners in a neighboring district. Here at Massena Central, I’ve sat in the stands and on the sidelines at sporting events, attended school functions, concerts, musicals and school nights. As a result, my perspective has become global.