CRARYVILLE — Six candidates are in the running for four Taconic Hills Board of Education seats in this year’s election.
Voters will determine Tuesday which of the six candidates will fill board seats. The board has four seats to fill. Two are five-year terms to succeed members Ronald Morales and Alicia O’Rourke, whose term will expire next month. There is one seat open for a two-year term and one seat open for a one-year term. Voting will take place Tuesday. Polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m.
The six candidates are:
Morales currently the Board of Education Vice President for Taconic Hills. He is a Hillsdale residents who has lived in the the district for over 22 years. He currently works in the Account Department for the Columbia County Department of Social Services in Hudson. His parents were teachers at Roe Jan (Taconic Hills for many years he said, and all three of his children have attended or currently attend Taconic Hills CSD. He enjoys going to the movies and live musical events…and winning against his kids at board games he said.
“I am running again for the school board to continue my “labor of love” in helping all the children of our community to achieve their goals,” Morales said in a statement.
Halsted is a 14-year resident of the Taconic Hills School District she lives in Claverack. She is currently a “home mom” who leads worship at Rock Solid Church where her husband is the senior pastor.
Halsted homeschooled her five children through eighth grade she said, two of whom have graduated from Taconic Hills, she has two children who attend Taconic hills, one in 11th grade and one in 9th.
Halsted said as part of her church’s community outreach they operate a food pantry which has given out about 56,000 meals to people in need in the district as well as others she said. She said she is also actively involved in a community kids program which has been running on Friday night’s for the past five years in Philmont.
“I love family time, serving in the church and I have a great interest in health and nutrition,” Halsted said in a statement. “Running for the school board gives me an opportunity to become more involved in the community and to further invest into the next generation. Thank you for this opportunity.”
Maisenbacher is a Claverack/ Philmont resident who has lived in the district for 46 years. He is a former Taconic Hills Board Member who had served as Vice President and President of the Board of Education, and was a voulenteer youth coach for over 15 years. He currently works as the Vice President of Key Bank.
Maisenbacher graduated Taconic Hills in 1989. His wife has been employed by the district for 10 years. Maisenbacher has three children who graduated from the district in 2013, 2014 and 20021.
“ I enjoy wood working and spending time with my family,” Maisenbacher said in a statement. “I am running for the school board to help balance the needs of our students with the needs of our staff and community.”
Burfiend is a lifelong resident of the district who resides in the town of Ghent. She describes herself as a wife and mother who graduated from Taconic Hills in 1986. She and her husband have an excavation business which has served the local community for 19 years and she is the office manager for the company. She said she holds her family times as very precious and enjoys camping and the outdoors her flower gardening and vegetables. She said her family enjoys motorcycles and snowmobiling up north. Her oldest son has graduated.
“Being a mother to 3 school age teens, I would like to be more involved in the school,” Burfiend said in a statement. “I feel that my construction and business experience will be helpful to the position. Invest time and by being a positive voice for the children and community of Taconic Hills.”
O’Rourke has lived in the Taconic Hills School District her entire life she said and she is a second generation graduate of the school. Her husband and his siblings and also graduated from the district. She said her son completed his elementary education at Taconic Hills and her daughter is currently in the sixth grade. As a stay-at-home-mom O’Rourke said she was able to volunteer in her children’s elementary classrooms and participate in PTO activities. She has served on the Taconic Hills School Board for the past five years. She said in addition to spending time with her family she enjoys her horses, gardening, and spending time at the lake.
“As a parent and taxpayer, I would be honored to continue to support the goals of our district while being fiscally responsible,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “Working together in this important time of healing will facilitate the success of our children.”
Delaney has lived in the school district for the past 18 years she said and she lives in the Churchtown area of Claverack. She currently attends Taconic Hills and has worked at a local Mexican restaurant for the past three years. She said she will be returning for my second summer at Crellin Park in Chatham as a camp counselor for children ages 4-12. Both of her parents are Taconic Hills alumni, and have lived in the district for 21 years, she has lived in the district her whole life and has attended Taconic Hills for her entire academic career. She said she loves being involved with community news and keeping up to date with upcoming events.