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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

Board of education petitions now available

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MASSENA - Petitions for candidates interested in seeking election to their district’s respective board of education are now available.

The Massena Central School District will have two seats up for grabs this year. They are currently held by Leonard A. Matthews and Kevin F. Perretta.

Mr. Matthews will be seeking his third five-year term on the board. He was last elected in 2009.

Mr. Perretta was appointed in December 2008 following Andrew Szarka’s resignation from the board to relocate to Texas. He successfully ran for his first five-year term on the board in May 2009.

Applications are available in the district office and are due by the end of the day April 21.

In Potsdam, where board of education members have three-year terms, there are three seats up for grabs this year.

According to District Clerk Davida Martin, the only candidates to pick up petitions are the three incumbents, Frederick C. Stone Jr., Wade A. Davis and school board President Christopher C. Cowen.

Petitions, which are available for pick up in the district office, must be returned by the close of business on April 21.

“The board of education is responsible for setting the policies for a school district which then govern the overall operations and management of the district. Its a very important set of expectations for board members,” Potsdam Central School District Superintendent Patrick H. Brady said. “They also help provide varying perspectives from community members.”

Mr. Brady said he’s hoping the district’s merger talks don’t discourage people from running.

“I certainly wouldn’t want members of the community to think they wouldn’t want to seek election to the board of education because there may be a merged district,” he said. “It’s too early in the process for that.”

Mr. Brady also said Potsdam is fortunate enough to have a community that cares very deeply about the education of its children.

“We have a very excellent school board that brings varying interests and talents to the table. We have a board who strongly supports the education and interests of our students,” he said. “I give a lot of credit to the school board volunteers who are willing to step up and help make the decisions.”

In the Norwood-Norfolk Central School District, one long-time school board member has opted not to seek reelection this year. David C. Flint will step down after serving on the board since 1999.

Two other incumbents, however, are planning to run for another three-year term. Karl J. Fetter has already returned his petition, and Jonathan L. Hunkins has picked up a petition and started obtaining signatures. Both were elected to their seats in May 2011.

Petitions are available during regular business hours in the district office and are due by the end of the day April 21.

Two incumbents have picked up petitions for another five-year term on the St. Lawrence Central School Board of Education. Board President Robert Dow, who was first elected to the board in 2009, will be seeking his second term.

Nereida Diaz-Fuentes has also picked up a petition. She had previously run and was elected to the board in 2005 to finish the final three years of Michael Buckley’s five-year term following his resignation. She opted not to run for reelection in 2008, but was appointed in May 2013 to finish the final year of Michael Hornung’s five-year term.

Petitions are available anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the district office and must be returned by 5 p.m. April 21.

Candidates interested in running for the Parishville-Hopkinton Board of Education have until April 11 to submit their petitions.

As of Monday afternoon, District Clerk Stefanie L. Hartson said incumbents Heidi Simmons and Fred Wilhelm are the only candidates to pick up petitions so far. Two vacancies are available and each term is five years in length.

Petitions, which may be picked up in the district office, must be returned with a minimum of 25 signatures by the close of business on April 11.

Those interested in seeking election to the Colton-Pierrepont Central School Board of Education have until the close of business on April 21 to return their petitions.

District Clerk Diane Ladison said there are two seats available this year, with both seats being full, four-year terms.

To date, incumbents Jeffery Angleberger and Kayc Stone are the candidates to pick up petitions.

Petitions must contain a minimum of 25 signatures when returned.

Candidates interested in seeking a seat on the Madrid-Waddington Board of Education have until April 21 to return a petition with a minimum of 25 signatures.

Seats up for grabs this year include two full five-year terms currently belonging to Mary Loomis and Richard Hobkirk.

District Clerk Mindy Fisher said that Ms. Loomis has indicated she will not be seeking re-election, while Mr. Hobkirk is planning to run again.

Unlike other districts, where candidates simply run for the board, prospective candidates seeking election in Madrid-Waddington must declare which seat they are running for.

To date, Ms. Fisher has said no petitions have been picked up.

Bob Beckstead contributed to this report.

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