SFCSD Board of Education to be honored

Seneca Falls School Superintendent Bob McKeveny reported that the Seneca Falls CSD Board of Education has been selected to receive the annual New York State School Boards’ Association Board Advocacy Award. This state-wide award and recognition will take place at the annual New York State School Boards’ Association Capital Conference/Lobby Day Dinner on Sunday, March 15th in Albany.The Seneca Falls CSD BOE members take great pride in representing the Seneca Falls CSD and work hard to strive for the very best for the Seneca Falls Central School District.The following details regarding the Seneca Falls CSD BOE participation and advocacy efforts led to the recognition and award:Seneca Falls CSD Board of Education Members: Joseph McNamara, President (member since 2008) Melissa Baxter, Vice-President (member since 2008) Peter Wormuth (member since 2004) Christina Ganzon (member since 2009) Jeffrey Hartwell (member since 2010) Gregory Walsh (member since 2010) Joell Murney-Karsten (member since 2012) William Reigel (member since 2013) Heather Zellers (member since 2013)Over the past seven years, the Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education has become actively involved with state and regional advocacy efforts. While the Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education has been a long-standing member of the New York State School Boards Association, the District has recently become members and active participants in the Four County School Boards Association (serving the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES region) and New York State Rural Schools Association.Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education members benefit from and utilize the wide variety of resources offered by the New York State School Boards’ Association. Along with current web site information and daily e-clips from media outlets, the Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education members have attended the 2012, 2013, and 2014 NYSSBA Conventions in Rochester and New York City, have attended and participated in regional workshops (e.g. Board Officers’ Academy, seasonal Law Conferences, APPR), and have participated in School Board U webinars. Mr. McNamara, Mrs. Baxter, and Mrs. Zellers have received NYSSBA recognition for their participation in School Board U webinars. The Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education President has been selected twice to participate in Commissioner of Education Round Table meetings with other select Board of Education members from New York State.The Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education values and utilizes the legislative platforms and positions put forth by the New York State School Boards Association. Annual resolutions are reviewed and discussed by the entire Board of Education before the voting delegate casts votes at the annual meeting. The Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education also makes use of the New York State School Boards’ Association annual legislative platforms to frame regional and local advocacy efforts. During the 2013 – 2014 budget development season, the Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education promoted restoration of the Gap Elimination Adjustment and Foundation Aid, as well as STAR inequity, impacts of PILOTS and the Tax Cap, and adequate Universal Pre-Kindergarten funding. The legislative priorities were also shared with Senator Michael Nozzolio and Assemblyman Brian Kolb during multiple meetings that took place locally in the Finger Lakes region and in Albany (as part of the Capital Conference and Lobby Day). The local priorities were also shared with school district employees and school community members. The Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education advocacy efforts allowed representative constituents to be aware of inadequate and inequitable state aid funding, which impact the District’s ability to maintain and grow educational programs.The Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education also actively participates in the regional Four County School Boards’ Association. Two to three members regularly attend Saturday workshops during the Fall and Winter to develop position papers and legislative advocacy talking points that can be used with legislators and school community members. The regional and local positions are developed based on priorities set forth by the New York State School Boards’ Association.The Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education is also an active member of the NYS Rural Schools Association. Members attend state and regional workshops, utilize prepared resolutions to support educational priorities, and receive information from monthly newsletters. Shared Services (between school districts and communities) to meet the Tax Freeze mandate has been a focal point of workshops, conferences, and advocacy efforts this Fall.The Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education has also communicated and met with its federal legislator, Congressman Tom Reed. Inadequate IDEA funding, impacts of sequester, and non-payment of taxes are three areas that the Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education has advocated for with Congressman Reed and the federal government.The increased active participation in advocacy efforts by the Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education has been done with interests of providing Seneca Falls CSD students with increased and equitable opportunities leading to successful achievement and readiness for continued education. The Seneca Falls CSD Board of Education’s efforts also support a statewide effort to value public education in New York State. The advocacy efforts during the recent past makes the Seneca Falls CSD Board of Education a worthy candidate for the New York State School Boards’ Association Board Advocacy Award. Congratulations to SFCSD Board of Education members on this special and well-deserved recognition and award.- Bob McKeveny, SFCSD Superintendent