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2008-09 Budget

Board of Education candidates 

On May 20, 2008, voters elected three candidates to the Guilderland Central School District Board of EducationCatherine Barber (1,905), Judy Slack (1,774) and John Dornbush (1,767). Christine Kenefick received 1,374 votes and Peter Golden receive 1,368.

erms on the board are for three years each and are unpaid positions.

The five candidates who ran for the board are listed below alphabetically.

Catherine Barber, 2008-09 board candidate - electedCatherine Barber
Barber, of 205 Greenwood Drive, Schenectady, is seeking her second term on the Board. Barber is a self-employed attorney specializing in appeals, and is also a violinist in the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra and in a professional string quartet. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a bachelor's degree in music performance before completing her J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. She and her husband, Peter, have two children at Guilderland High School: Elizabeth, a senior, and Gregory, a ninth grader.

Barber has served as a member of the Board since July, 2005, and has been chairperson of the communications and policy committees. As a resident of the district for more than 15 years, she has also been involved in numerous school organizations including: the Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee, the FMS Building Cabinet, Guilderland Music Parents and Friends, and the Lynnwood Elementary and FMS PTAs.

Why do you want to be a member of the Guilderland Board of Education?
"I am proud of the work I have done as a member of the Board for the past three years. I have been , and will continue to be, committed to maintaining the high quality of education that the community deserves and expects, in a fiscally responsible manner. I believe that, through my service on this Board, I have made a positive difference and I would like the opportunity to continue my service on behalf of the schools and community."

John Dornbush, 2008-09 board candidate - electedJohn Dornbush
Dornbush, of 31 Whipple Way, Altamont, is running for a fourth term on the Board of Education. Dornbush is a senior staff assistant in student financial services at the University at Albany. His position entails assisting students and families with financial aid and student account questions and concerns. Dornbush is a graduate of Pearl River High School in Pearl River, NY, and of SUNY Albany, where he received his bachelor's degree in history and master's degree and certificate of advanced study in student development. He is currently serving as vice president for the Guilderland Board of Education and is a lector at St. Lucy's in Altamont. In the past, he has been involved in numerous district organizations including the Altamont, Farnsworth Middle School, and Guilderland High School PTAs; PTA Council; and the Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee.

He and his wife, Mary, have lived in Guilderland for 14 years and have two sons: Stephen, 24, and Eric, 20, a sophomore at Dickinson College.

Why do you want to be a member of the Guilderland Board of Education?

"I believe effective, high quality education is the foundation upon which our great democracy is built. Education is essential to our ability to compete in the high-tech, global marketplace. As a member of the Guilderland School Board for the past nine years, my actions have been guided by two principles: Is it good for kids? and Will the taxpaying community support it? Service on the Board is my way of giving back; my way of fulfilling my civic duty. I hope I have gained the trust of the citizens of Guilderland and that they will support me for another term."

Peter Golden, 2008-09 board candidatePeter Golden
Golden, of 128 Brandon Terrace, Guilderland, is seeking his second term on the Board. Golden has worked as a self-employed writer for the past 24 years. He is an award-winning journalist, whose work has appeared in publications such as the Times Union, Newsweek, The Detroit Free Press Magazine and the New York Times, as well as the author of six full-length works of non-fiction and fiction. Golden is a graduate of Columbia High School, Maplewood, NJ, and of SUNY Albany, where he received a degree in philosophy. He and his wife, Annis, have lived in the district for eight years and have a son, Benjamin, currently attending the high school.

Why do you want to be a member of the Guilderland Board of Education?
"For the last three years, I have made it my number-one priority to balance the educational needs of our children with the steep rise in taxes. In the future, this will be an even bigger challenge, and I believe my work reducing costs, notably with our medical insurance, has helped to preserve district jobs and to ease our local tax burden. Interviewing world leaders has demonstrated to me that even at the national level, regardless of your power, the ability to make productive changes is limited. Thus, it falls to communities to express their values through local institutions. To me, education is the most important of these, because of the impact the schools have on our children—our present and their future. Schools are crucial to the well-being of every community, but since only 30 percent of the families in Guilderland use our system, it becomes clear that the rise in the budget year after year has the potential to polarize our town, to tear the delicate social fabric that we treasure, that safe and magical feeling we get whenever we hear the word, “home.” I hope to do everything in my power to pursue the common good and to see that this does not happen."

Christine Kenefick, 2008-09 board candidateChristine Kenefick
Kenefick, of 19 Clifton Way, Slingerlands, is seeking her first term on the Board. Kenefick is an attorney who serves as a confidential law clerk to an Appellate Division Justice. Her position entails researching and analyzing complex legal issues in all areas of New York State law, including criminal, civil and administrative law. Kenefick is a graduate of Notre Dame High School in Elmira, NY. She went on to receive her bachelor's degree in political science from SUNY Albany before graduating cum laude from Albany Law School. She and her husband, Mark, have lived in the district for 14 years and have two children in Westmere Elementary School: Gabrielle, grade 4, and Nicholas, kindergarten.

Kenefick is a member of numerous school and community organizations. She has served on the Westmere Building Cabinet since 2006, and has also been a member of the Citizens' Budget Advisory and Share Decision Making Committees. She is also currently co-chairing an inaugural reunion gala for her elementary school in southern NY. Since 2003, Kenefick has done fundraising for the Susan G. Komen Foundation—organizing a team for the Albany Race for the Cure. She has also participated in fundraising events for the Run for Dad organization since 1997, including co-chairing a 5K road race from 1998 to 2001.

Why do you want to be a member of the Guilderland Board of Education?
"As a parent of two young children, I have a strong personal interest in the caliber of the educational programs and staff in this District. As a professional, I understand the importance and value of a solid education in preparing students for satisfying careers. I also believe in the importance of volunteering in one's community--no matter what the cause. All of these factors compel me to seek membership on the Guilderland Central School District school board."

Judy Slack, 2008-09 board candidate - electedJudy Slack
Slack, of 1088 Leesome Lane, Altamont, is seeking her first term on the Board. Slack has worked as a teaching assistant at Lynnwood Elementary School for the past 24 years, and will be retiring this June. She has helped students as a TA for math, and has provided support for students with Individualized Educational Plan (IEPs). Prior to starting a family, Slack worked as a high school English teacher. She is a graduate of Ithaca High School, Ithaca, NY, and of Russell Sage College, where she earned her bachelor's degree in English and secondary education permanent certification, English 7-12. A district resident for 39 years, she and her husband, Joe, have three children: Julie, 34, Sarah, 33, and Tom, 30—all Guilderland graduates.

Throughout the years, Slack has been involved in numerous school organizations including the school PTAs and PTA Council (currently serving). She has also served as a member of the Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee for 15 years, and has participated in various committees related to redistricting, the Pine Bush Elementary School building project, and the Guilderland High School renovation project.

Why do you want to be a member of the Guilderland Board of Education?
"I believe that serving on the board would be a good way to continue professional service to education. Making sure our children are well educated is the only way to make sure our community continues to thrive."March 3, 5, 12, 17, and 19 (snow date): Meetings of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee.