VALATIE — Five candidates — Melissa Miller, John Chandler, Christopher Scoville, Megan Pelizza and Kelly Firmbach are competing for three seats on the Ichabod Crane School District Board of Education.
Kelly Firmbach of Kinderhook has served on the school board for the last three years. Her goals include fostering positive relationships for parents and students and strengthening the relationship between the district and alumni.
“First, I have great pride in ICC, for the school alumni, its educators, its staff and for its current and future students,” she said. “I want to foster that pride within those groups and within our community. I would be equally honored to meet these goals and serve this role for another three-year term.”
Investing in the future of all students is essential, she said, giving them a proper foundation throughout their school years will have students prepared for a career in the military, college and beyond.
“Secondly, I’m passionate about preparing all students for their intended path, whether that path takes them to college or straight into a career in the military,” she said.
Melissa Miller of Kinderhook wants to emphasize special education programs and spotlight students with disabilities and gifted students.
“I look forward to working with the board to help create and maintain goals that the board, teachers, administrators and the community can be proud of,” she said. “My goals for the school district is to support all students at Ichabod, those with special learning needs, those who are more standardized learners and our accelerated learners.”
Miller cited her desire to help the community as the driving force behind her decision to run for a seat on the board.
“After serving on the PTA for eight years and watching my kids age out of Ichabod Crane, I had to decide how to continue to best serve my school community,” she said. “With my desire to continue serving the students, teachers and administrators of ICC, I knew a seat on the board of education was how I could continue to support our district. I want our school to be the best it can be for the students and teachers in our district and have schools we can all be proud of.”
Christopher Scoville, also of Kinderhook, is a proponent of public education in the district. He said he wants to support the school district in any way he can, which is the main reason he’s running for a seat on the board of education.
“I have long been a champion of public education, and I see no better way to serve and support our district than as a member of the board of education,” he said. “I decided to run to lend my experience and voice to the collective conversation regarding how our district functions. I am a firm believer in committing 100% to something you believe in. While there might be other opportunities to be involved with the district, I know I can do my best for our district as a member of the board. So I decided to run for my daughters, their future and the future of all our students.”
Scoville said his experience working in schools for a decade makes him a candidate voters should elect.
“First, I am a parent of two primary school students, which allows me to see first-hand what the ICC school district provides our daughters and all students and how we can continue to build those opportunities,” he said. “Second, I have worked in and with New York’s schools for nearly a decade. In my current role, I deal with issues impacting teachers and school-related professionals daily. I am intimately familiar with the laws impacting students, staff and schools and can employ that knowledge and expertise in my work on the board. Third, I’m always willing to listen to all stakeholders: parents, students, staff and administrators because our community is stronger when all are heard.”
John Chandler and Megan Pelizza could not be reached for comment.
Voting on the 2023-24 proposed school budget and the board of education seats in May 16 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the high school gym.
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