Meet the Board of Education Candidates

District residents will vote on May 18 to fill four seats on the Duanesburg Central School District Board of Education. 

Three candidates will serve three-year terms beginning July 1. The seats are currently held by Shayne Mitchell, Teresa Wood-Irvin and Betsy Wright, whose terms expire June 30.

One candidate will serve until June 30, 2023, to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of board member Camille Siano Enders.

The following candidates, in ballot order, are running for the board: Teresa Wood-Irvin, Melissa Them Peterson, Shayne Mitchell and Francis Spor. Their biographies are included below. 

All candidates run at-large, rather than for a specific board seat. The district received four candidate petitions for the four open seats. The candidate who receives the least number of votes will win the board seat with the shorter term.

A virtual Meet the Candidates Night will be held by the Duanesburg Community PTA at 7 p.m. on May 13. To access the event, go to

Teresa Wood-Irvin

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Teresa Wood-Irvin

Spouse: Leanna 
Child: Niko
Child’s grade: 4th
Education: South Colonie High School, SUNY Albany (undergraduate) and Middlebury College (graduate)
Current employment: Spanish teacher at Guilderland Central School District for 24 years
Community service activities: Member of the Duanesburg Central School District Board of Education and the Duanesburg Community PTA, serving as secretary and on the bylaws committee and as nominating committee chair.
I am a candidate for the Duanesburg BOE because: I am dedicated to making decisions based on input and research that will positively affect our students, school district, community and businesses. 

Melissa Them Peterson

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Melissa Them Peterson

Spouse: Myles
Children: Noah and Annalise
Children’s grades: 6th and 3rd
Education: Maine-Endwell Sr. High School, Alfred University (BA) and University at Albany (MA and PhD) 
Current employment: Clinical psychologist – pediatric specialist
Community service activities: President/Treasurer of the Duanesburg Community PTA, coach/secretary of the Duanesburg AYSO and member of the K-2 Advocacy Committee and DCS Wellness Committee 
I am a candidate for the Duanesburg BOE because: I am passionate about our school community and bring a unique perspective through my clinical work. 

Shayne Mitchell 

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Shayne Mitchell

Spouse: Leila 
Children: Alanna and Maris
Children’s grades: 12th and 10th
Education: Bishop Ludden High School, Syracuse and University at Buffalo (BS Chemical Engineering)
Current employment: Retired from NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 2019 after 33 years as an environmental engineer and section chief
Community service activities: Member of the Duanesburg Central School District Board of Education, volunteers at Duanesburg school athletics events and Electric Eel swim meets 
I am a candidate for the Duanesburg BOE because: I believe in quality public education and this is a way for me to support that and be involved in our community. 

Francis Spor

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Francis Spor

Spouse: Samantha
Children: Lucy and F. Henry
Children’s grades: 5th and 3rd
Education: Duanesburg Central School District, Rochester Institute of Technology (BS Computer Science) and Union College (MS Computer Science)
Current employment: Software engineer at Affinitiv
Community service activities: Duanesburg Education Foundation trustee, Cub Scout den leader, Odyssey of the Mind coach and Duanesburg Community PTA member
I am a candidate for the Duanesburg BOE because: I am invested in this community. After growing up here, I chose to return and raise my children in this community, particularly because of the strong school district and small-town feel. I believe I have a unique perspective on this district as an alum, as a professional community member and as a parent.