The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

May 20, 2013

LCSD voters to pick four

By HOWARD BALABAN howard.balaban@journal-register.com
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — LYNDONVILLE — Voters in the Lyndonville Central School District will cast ballots for a handful of propositions and choose four board members among five candidates.

Along with the budget and the board members, the propositions are: Prop. 3: reducing the number of board members from nine to seven starting July 1, 2014; Prop. 4: an minimal increase in the Yates Community Library tax; Prop. 5: the establishment of a transportation vehicle reserve fund; and Prop. 6: the purchase of a bus and a van using currently available district funds.

The board candidates will fill three three-year terms and one two-year term. The candidate with the fourth-highest total of votes will earn the two-year seat.

The candidates are:

Terry Stinson

Completing three years on the school board has been educational for Stinson.

“I’ve learned a lot,” she said. Being a board member requires both fiscal responsibility to the district and emotional and educational responsibility to the kids in the district, she said.

In a district newsletter, Stinson added, “I have always felt that our greatest wealth has been our children. I strongly believe that as a community, we have a lot to be proud of.”

She said three more years on the board would allow her the chance to continue to “work towards allowing (students) every opportunity while staying fiscally responsible.”

Tara Neace

Neace is running for a third term on the board. She said she believes a good board is in place and that it works well together. “I’ve seen a lot of change in my six years on the board,” she said. “With the changes, we’ve worked to be fiscally prudent while at the same time working to keep the extracurriculars here for the kids.”

Neace said she feels the board has done well to be “long range thinkers and planners.”

She added that her time on the board has led to her becoming part of a team that works “both cohesively and collaboratively.”

That teamwork, according to what Neace said in a district newsletter, has helped the board make “strides by creative problem solving that has proven to be cost effective with our taxpayers, while providing the students with the best educational the school district can offer under these economically challenging times.”

Jim Moody

With 22 years of management experience, Moody said he wants to continue as a board member because he has seen how the “administration works well together and our children and grandchildren are benefitting from what our staff brings to the table.”

Moody has been on the board only a brief time, and in that time he said he has quickly learned the challenges associated with maintaining certain extracurricular activities have necessitated merging some of them with Medina. However, he said Lyndonville is “on the right track toward remaining an independent district, and I support that fully.”

Michelle Dillenbeck

A self-proclaimed “Lyndonville Lifer,” Dillenbeck said she is running for a seat on the board to help continue Lyndonville’s track record of “leading our county’s schools academically.”

She said the care given to student education in the district is “incomparable” but she noted she is “not naive to the difficulties” the district faces in maintaining such a high level. “I’m proud of the efforts the board has made to minimize costs whenever possible,” she said. She added that she hoped to help the board find creative ways to continue keeping costs down so as to keep the district independent.

“You will never convince me that sending children to a large school will equal the education they get at a small school,” she said. Citing some state-wide budget numbers that illustrate how comparatively small Lyndonville is in the state’s eyes, Dillenbeck expressed her disappointment, noting how unfunded mandates are crippling smaller districts.

“I hope we can continue to provide the experience I had here as both a student and as a teacher,” she said.

Harold Shur

The White Birch owner said he decided to run for school board to help the children in the district.

“It’s all about the kids,” Shur said. He added how he wanted to help make sure graduates of Lyndonville are productive members of society who can be qualified to get a job or enroll in higher education.

Shur previously served on the board in the late 1990s. He said since his time on the board he has watched the skyrocketing use of standardized testing from afar and has grown increasingly disappointed with it.

“I think it’s ridiculous,” he said. Too much standardized testing is “like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole,” he said, only the peg in this case is a student.

Shur said too many students are being pushed “harder than they need to be” to the point where they are feeling beaten down. On the board, he said he would fight to help fix that.