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2009-10 budget

Board of Education candidates  

On May 19, 2009, voters elected three candidates to the Guilderland Central School District Board of EducationJulie Cuneo (2,266), Denise Eisele (1,864) and Richard Weisz (1,659). The terms are for three years each and are unpaid positions. Allan Simpson (1,618) and Elijah Sharma (1,431) were not elected to the board.

All of the 2009-10 Board of Education candidates who ran for the board are listed alphabetically below.

Julie Fletcher Cuneo, 2009-10 board candidate - electedJulie Fletcher Cuneo
Cuneo, of 340 Torquay Blvd., Albany, is seeking her first term on the Board of Education. Cuneo is an acute care nurse practitioner, currently at home with her small children. She and her husband, Brian, have four children: Kathryn, in grade 1 at GES; Claire, in kindergarten at PBES; Paul, age 3; and Elizabeth, age 2. A lifelong district resident, Cuneo is a graduate of Guilderland High School and of Hartwick College, where she received her bachelor's degree, and of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, where she received her master's degree.

Cuneo served as a member of the 2009-10 Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee, and is also an active member of the Guilderland Elementary PTA. She is also serves as a Girl Scout leader and is an active member of Christ the King Church.

Why do you want to be a member of the Guilderland Board of Education?
"I would appreciate your consideration of my candidacy for the Guilderland Board of Education. My reason for running is simple: I love children and care about the quality of education they receive. I want to give back to the community that gave me a great education and preparation for adulthood. I am a graduate of Guilderland High School, a wife, a mother of young children, a nurse practitioner and a taxpayer. Through these varied roles and responsibilities, I believe I can bring a unique voice and perspective to the Board. I value transparency in government and believe all views need to be heard and carefully considered. As a Board member, I would advocate for children of all ages and abilities. Guilderland has been fortunate to have high quality teachers and involved, caring parents. Our children’s futures are dependent upon maintaining such a standard of excellence. In today’s difficult economic times, it is important to be fiscally responsible. We must be mindful of the tax dollars we spend and be sure to use our limited resources wisely. Prudence in spending is always important, but now more than ever it is mandatory. If elected I would like to continue our tradition of offering a great education at a reasonable cost. Thank you for your consideration."

Denise Eisele, 2009-10 board candidate - electedDenise Eisele
Eisele, of 8 Stafford’s Crossing, Slingerlands, is seeking her second term on the Board. Eisele is a school nurse with the Early Childhood Education Center. A district resident for 16 years, she and her husband, George, have six children: Stephen, Jacob, and Meg, all at GHS; John and Paul, at FMS; and Doug, currently attending a BOCES program out-of-district.

Eisele is a graduate of Glen Falls High School and of the Albany Medical Center School of Nursing. Over the years, she has been involved in numerous school organizations including: PTAs, Building Cabinets, and the Guilderland District Priorities Committee. She has also volunteered in the community as a den leader, sign language interpreter, and parent advocate for committee for preschool education and the committee for special education.

Why do you want to be a member of the Guilderland Board of Education?
"I am running for a seat on the Board of Education this year because I feel I have a voice that speaks for all of our Guilderland students. We have a diverse community here and many different styles of learning. I have represented our district for three years. I want to continue to be on the Board--to be available for concerns and to be part of this wonderful environment."

Elijah Sharma, 2009-10 board candidateElijah Sharma
Sharma, of 14 Mountaindale Ct., Altamont, is seeking his first term on the Board of Education. A resident of the district for the past eight years, Sharma is an alum of Westmere Elementary School and Farnsworth Middle School, and is currently a senior at Guilderland High School. Upon graduation this June, he plans to study political science in Albany.

Sharma served as a member of the 2009-10 Citizens' Budget Advisory Committee, is an active member of the Guilderland High School Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA), and is a certified trainer for the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI). He has also been involved in numerous clubs and organizations throughout the community including: High School Caucus of the Young Democrats of America; Northeast Regional "Student Peace Alliance"; Amnesty International USA; American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), to name just a few.

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

"I want to serve on the Guilderland Board of Education because I love the Guilderland Central School District and I know their success is critical to the success of our entire community. I want to start a conversation about how we can preserve critical education programs, create a safe and respectful climate, preserve and promote integrity, make bullying history, preserve and lower class sizes, improve school safety and order, create a responsible budget that respects the tax payer and protects the classroom, and about anything and everything important to this community. We can learn to disagree without being disagreeable, that we can compromise as long as we know of the principles that must never be compromised, and that we can listen to each other and assume the best instead of the worst. I want to create a board of education that champions everyone's best interest and that is a voice for the voiceless. I envision a board of education that serves those who have been for too long shut out of the decision making process and haven't had their voices heard. I am running for the Guilderland Board of Education so that your wants, your needs, your hopes and your dreams come first. We must restore our sense of common purpose and realize that no obstacles can stand in the way of the voices calling for change. Instead of asking this community to support me, I want to ask this community how I can support them."

Allan Simpson, 2009-10 board candidateAllan Simpson
Simpson, of 218 Concord Hill Drive, Altamont, is seeking his first term on the Board. Simpson is the director of accounting operations for the State Insurance Fund. A district resident for the past ten years, he and his wife, Renate, have two children: Tyler, a freshman at GHS and Ashley, a fifth grader at LES.

Simpson is a graduate of LeMoyne College, where he received his bachelor's degree in accounting, and of SUNY Oswego, where he received his master's degree in business.

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

"I would like to be a member of the Guilderland Board of Education because I would like to be involved in the community. My children attend the Guilderland School system and to date, have received an excellent education. The current economic times have caused many of us to re-evaluate what we can afford and how much we should pay for everything we consume. Education is an important foundation to succeeding in today's competitive world. I would like to work with the other members of the Board of Education and the staff at Guilderland Central School District to ensure the students receive a quality education at an affordable price."

Richard Weisz, 2009-10 board candidate - electedRichard Weisz
Weisz, of 221 Executive Drive, Guilderland, is seeking his fourth term on the Board. Weisz is a partner in the law firm of Hodgson Russ LLP, practicing primarily business law and commercial litigation. He holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a law degree from Albany Law School.

A district resident for the past 18 years, Weisz has two children: Jessica, age 24 , attending Upstate Medical College in Syracuse, and Joshua, age 21, attending the University of Maryland. Both are graduates of GHS.

Why do you want to be a member of the Guilderland Board of Education?
"I grew up in a loving family that did not have a lot of financial resources. I was able to go to college because my parents valued education and instilled in me the conviction that I could achieve my dreams if I used the educational opportunities that were open to me in the Malone Central School system. I believe that public schools are one of the bedrock institutions in our country and I have personally experienced and benefited from public education. I want to continue my service on the Guilderland School Board of Education to preserve for our children the best opportunities for their growth, education and development consistent with our community's ability to pay for these services. The next three years, in particular, will test our ability to provide a first-rate educational experience. New York State has already indicated that it will not be able to provide aid to our district at levels we had come to expect. The Federal stimulus package will end in two years. We therefore must come up with a new vision for our schools based upon less financial resources. The need and value of education has never been more clear, while the resources of our community have never been more strained.

My career as a commercial lawyer has provided me with expertise in handling budgets and financial changes of all kinds. My nine years on the Board have given me insight and perspective for our district's educational challenges. I seek another term to continue serving our district and believe that I can make a positive contribution."