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Experienced field battles for three Potsdam school board seats

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POTSDAM - The race for three vacant seats on the board of education includes only one incumbent, although three of the other five candidate do have previous board experience.

Mary Ashley Carroll, Ann M. Carvill and Sandra D. Morris each bring experience to the race, which also includes incumbent J. Patrick Turbett, Danielle L. Gray and James Hubbard.

Ms. Carroll said she served on the board from 2003 to 2011, but noted her attendance at meetings dates much longerr than that.

“I attended board meeting on a regular basis for 12 years before that,” she said. “I really like kids, and I know there are children out there who need someone to advocate for them. I recognize and believe with all my heart that education can alter the result of their lives. It can motivate, give them direction and help them set goals.”

The importance of education coupled with the current fiscal times facing schools brought her back to the race.

“When you’re talking about a crisis of this magnitude, you really need people with the experience, knowledge and time,” she said. “I don’t waste my money, and I won’t waste the taxpayers.”

Ms. Carvill and Ms. Morris also cited their previous stints on the board as playing a role in their decision to run again.

“My background is in education,” Ms. Carvill said. “I’m an experienced teacher, so I’m committed to education and passionate about it. I’m an experienced board member, and I think these demanding fiscal times call for experienced board members.”

Ms. Morris said she didn’t initially plan on running for the school board this year, but after several people asked her too she decided to seek a seat on the board.

“I was recruited and didn’t think I had anything to lose,” she said. “I believe I have a lot of knowledge about school board matters, and I think we need experienced people to lead the school district in these very uncertain times.

Ms. Gray, who works as a teacher in the Canton School District, said she wants to be a part of the decision making process in Potsdam, where she lives.

“New York state is in a fiscal crisis and it directly impacts everything that has to do with out schools, the teachers, the programs and ultimately our students,” she said. “I really want to be a part of the decision making process so that all of the students get all they can out of their public education.

While Mr. Hubbard may not be a teacher or previous school board member, he said he has experiences that he would like to bring to the table.

“As a Potsdam native and having attended Potsdam Central School ,I have always had a personal interest in the state of affairs of the Potsdam Central School District,” he said. “During this time of economic crisis, budget cuts and reduced state funding, I feel that I can no longer be just an observer in these matters. I have experience working for the federal government and the state government at SUNY Potsdam, and I understand the current financial issues faced by the school board. It is my hope to share my experience and knowledge in these matters and provide fresh ideas and a fresh perspective on the matters at hand.”

Multiple emails and phone calls to Mr. Turbett, who is the lone incumbent in the race, were not returned.

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