COXSACKIE — A quartet of candidates are bidding for three seats on the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District Board of Education in the May 16 election.
Incumbents Tara Bachner, Ina Griffin-Guilzon and Jamie Dorr are seeking re-election, while newcomer Sam Anderson hopes to oust one of them.
Born and raised in Athens, Griffin-Guilzon has a background in Childhood and Literacy Education and has worked in the district both as teacher and tutor. Griffin-Guilzon is seeking her second term as board member in the district where both her children received their diplomas.
Because of the wide gap in her children’s ages — one graduated in 2006, the other in 2022 — Griffon-Guilzon knows that the needs of students of 2023 are more complex than their predecessors due to the shifts in culture and technology of the past decades.
Earning her stripes by being on the board when the district tackled the challenges of the pandemic, Griffon-Guilzon said she is proud of the board’s work during her term.
“The Board has worked through difficult issues with our community to arrive at the best possible solutions to the challenges presented,” said Griffin-Guilzon. “It is important to hear all of the voices of the community and carefully consider the outcomes before making difficult decisions. Students are our first priority. It is important not to lose sight of the roles and influence that each and every member of the community has in the way students are nurtured and protected.”
Hoping to serve her fourth term, Dorr is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology and is employed by Ulster BOCES as a teaching assistant. Dorr said she thinks parent-teacher-administration relationships are of the utmost value and that the use of contemporary technology needs to be balanced with traditional modes of learning.
Dorr said she has witnessed the positive progress of the Coxsackie-Athens district throughout her time on the board and her time raising children in the district. Among her interests are gardening and photography and serving as vice president of the Rotary Club.
Bachner is running for her third term on the Board. A graduate of Coxsackie-Athens, Bachner holds a master’s degree in Childhood Education and Literacy.
Bachner has served as Little League Softball coach, fundraiser for Hope’s Mission of Greene County, director of the VOC Summer Recreation Program and Coxsackie Elementary PTO officer.
Bachner said she has first-hand knowledge of what takes place in the classrooms of Coxsackie-Athens, having served as a substitute teacher in the district for 12 years. Bachner lists positive recognition to both teachers and students as one of the most important priorities of school. She also said she believes the district should prioritize fiscal responsibility while providing the best experience for students.
Another believer in fiscal health, Anderson has served on the Parent Community Council while also running a family farm which is home to rabbits, goats, hogs, chickens and guinea hens. Anderson’s volunteer services include serving as New Baltimore firefighter for 19 years and his civic involvement includes being on the Town of New Baltimore Republican Committee. One of Anderson’s goals is for the district to perform better on state assessments.
“Over the past few years our district has not scored well in the academic arena statewide,” Anderson said. “I would like to see this change. I find it more important, especially in elementary and middle school, to focus on learning instead of so many social issues for our children.”
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.