Board of Education

Voters elect four candidates to the Board of Education

Voters elected four members to the board of Education during the 2021-22 Annual Budget Vote on May 18, 2021.

As the top three vote-getters, Melissa Peterson (205 votes), Francis Spor (202 votes) and Teresa Wood-Irvin (194 votes) will each serve a three-year term beginning July 1. Shayne Mitchell (193 votes) will serve until June 30, 2023, to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of board member Camille Siano Enders.

DCS livestreaming meetings in response to COVID-19

The Duanesburg Central School District is holding its regular board meetings remotely by videoconference only because of the ongoing COVID-19 public health situation. Live streamed videos of the meetings are available for the public. 

Please see the Duanesburg CSD Public Comment Protocols

Board meetings are livestreamed on Google Meet. Links to access the board meetings are available on the district calendar as well as the meeting agenda on BoardDocs

Given the extraordinary circumstances surrounding COVID-19, DCS will plan to use videoconference/livestream only for Board of Education meetings for the time being. This approach is consistent with the governor’s executive order from March 2020. 

Board meetings are generally held at 6:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month. The full board meeting schedule is available here.

Meeting videos are uploaded to YouTube and are also shared with Schopeg public access television. 

Board meeting agendas, materials and minutes

Meeting agendas, materials and minutes are available on BoardDocs.

About the Board

The Board of Education is composed of seven members who serve three-year terms. Members are elected by residents in the community to establish policy and direct the administration of the district’s schools. As your representatives, the board exercises the community’s rights to citizen control over public education.

Every Board of Education in the State of New York has legal and financial control over local school matters, subject only to limitations imposed by the United States Constitution, Federal Law, State Law, regulations of the Commissioner of Education, and, of course, the will of local residents as expressed in local elections. 

Running for the Board of Education

Board nomination petitions become available in March at the district office. In order to obtain a petition, candidates must visit the central office building to have their eligibility confirmed by the district clerk. Each nominating petition must contain a minimum of 25 valid signatures and must be returned to the district office 30 days prior to the school district’s Annual Meeting (Budget Vote). Petitions are due by 5 p.m. at the Central Office on Monday, April 18. 

To run for a seat on the Board of Education, candidates must be:

  • A resident of the Duanesburg Central School District for a period of one year prior to the annual school budget vote and Board election.
  • A U.S. citizen, 18 and older and can read and write.

New York State Education Law does not limit the number of terms of office a member may serve. Board members receive no salaries or other compensation.

Questions may be directed to District Clerk Celeste Junge at cjunge@duanesburg.org.

School Board FAQs

 

What is a school board? 

A school board is a corporate body composed of elected members that oversee and manage a public school district’s affairs, personnel, and properties.

Do our school board members collect a salary for their duties?

No. DCS school board members volunteer their time and efforts. 

What powers does an individual school board member have? 

Individual school board members have no legal authority or power. They may only legally act as a body by majority vote in a properly convened meeting. Individually, a Board member’s rights are no greater or different than those of any other qualified voter in the District.

Why won’t a board member answer my questions individually? 

Even though an individual BOE member has no power, their actions or comments may be attributed to the school district and have legal ramifications for the entire Board. Because of this, they have been advised not to make comments on district operations outside of a meeting. 

How does a superintendent’s role differ from the BOE?

As a general rule, the Board’s role is to set the policy for the District and it is the superintendent’s function to administer those policies.

Do BOE members communicate directly with staff or students to investigate issues in the school? 

No. Questions and concerns are relayed to the superintendent, who will then designate someone to investigate, generally a director or principal. 

If I have a problem with something that happened in school, what should I do?

Generally speaking, it is best to contact your child’s teacher first, however, you should feel free to also contact a building principal, director, the superintendent’s secretary, or the superintendent if you aren’t sure how your concern should be routed. The BOE does not manage the day-to-day operations of the school district. 

I thought that BOE meetings were public meetings. Why can’t I freely participate in them? 

While meetings of the BOE are held in public, they are not public meetings. Community members are invited to speak during the public comment section of the meeting, which is usually held at the very beginning. 

I asked a question in the public comment section of a BOE meeting. Why didn’t the BOE answer me? 

It is BOE policy to not address specific questions/comments made during the public comment section of the meeting; however, the BOE may direct the superintendent to further investigate issues or follow-up on certain comments. The Board will only discuss items on its agenda. 

What items may not be discussed in the public comment section of a BOE meeting? 

Personnel matters may not be discussed in the public comment section of a meeting. If members of the public have gone through proper channels and still wish to discuss a personnel manner with the Board, they can submit their comments in writing to the Board President or request an Executive session with the Board.

Why does the BOE sometimes go into private executive session? 

The BOE may go into executive session for only a handful of specific reasons. They are: 

  • Matters which may imperil public safety;
  • Discussions regarding proposed, pending or current litigation;
  • Collective negotiations pursuant to Article fourteen of the Civil Service Law (collective bargaining);
  • The medical, financial, credit or employment history of a particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation;
  • The preparation, grading or administration of examinations;
  • The proposed acquisition, sale or lease of real property or the proposed acquisition of securities, or sale or exchange of securities held by the District, but only when publicity would substantially affect the value thereof;
  • Matters which may disclose identity of law enforcement agent or informer; and, 
  • Matters relating to a criminal offense which may imperil effective law enforcement

Do school board members take an oath of office? 

Yes. New Board members must swear or affirm to the following: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of New York, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of office of school board member according to the best of my ability.”