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Board of Education elections

A local board of education is an agency of New York State governed by NYS law and the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. There are nine residents who serve, without pay, on the Guilderland Central School District's Board of Education. The Board of Education has the power to develop policies, rules and regulations for the operation of our school system. Learn more about the role of a Board member New York State Education Law does not limit the number of terms of office a member may serve.

*Updated May 20, 2015—On May 19, voters elected three members to the Board of Education:
 Catherine Barber (1302 votes) *elected
 Christine Hayes (1574 votes) *elected
 Seema Rivera (1525 votes) *elected
 Timothy Burke (798 votes)
 Nicholas Fahrenkopf (978 votes)

Thank you to everyone who came out and voted!

Meet the candidates
On May 19, voters will select three board members from the following candidates (listed alphabetically). These positions are unpaid and each carry a three-year term. 

Catherine Barber

Catherine Barber

Barber, of 205 Greenwood Drive, Schenectady, has been a district resident for 23 years. She and her husband, Peter, have two children: Elizabeth (GHS 2008) and Gregory (GHS 2011). Barber attended high school in Albuquerque, N.M., and received a degree in music performance from the University of New Mexico, as well as a J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School. She is an attorney of counsel with the law firm of Murphy, Burns, Barber, & Murphy, LLP and is also a violinist in the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra. First elected to the Board of Education is 2005, Barber has served three terms. During that time, she acted as a liaison to every school and served on every Board committee. Barber has also served as Board vice president and as chairperson of the policy and communications committees. Prior to Board service, she was active in a variety of school activities and committees, including Building Cabinet, Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee, and the Music Parents & Friends Association. She also volunteered in schools and classrooms throughout the district. With this election, Barber is seeking her second consecutive term on the board.




Timothy BurkeTimothy Burke

Burke, of 9 Alton Road, Albany, has been a district resident for 13 years. He and his wife, Rae Ellen, currently have a school-age child, Tommy. Burke was raised in Voorheesville, N.Y., and graduated from Christian Brothers Academy. He served in the N.Y. Army National Guard and was honorably discharged in 1995. Burke is employed as a manager with Living Resources and oversees a group home for individuals with developmental disabilities. For more than 20 years, he has worked in social services, primarily with adolescents in various settings including inpatient psychiatric facilities, alternative programs to incarceration, and secure care environments. Burke began his direct care career locally, and later, traveled across the country with VisionQuest National, as a program director. When he returned to New York, he worked for the Office for Children and Family Services. Since 2003, Burke has actively participated in the GCSD Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee, community conversations on the school budget, and regularly attends school board meetings. Burke is seeking his first term on the board.





Nicholas FahrenkopfNicholas Fahrenkopf

Fahrenkopf, of 66 Sanford Place, Altamont, has been a district resident for seven years. He and his wife, Katie, are expecting their first child this summer. Fahrenkopf attended Maple Hill High School in the Schodack Central School District, where he graduated with a college preparatory diploma. Fahrenkopf went on to attend the College of Arts and Sciences, University at Albany, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Physics and a minor in Mathematics. He also holds a Ph.D. in Nanoscale Engineering from the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, University at Albany. Fahrenkopf is currently employed as a Derivatives Integration Engineer at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. He was a Future of Guilderland Schools Summit attendee and, has been involved in the district’s Repurposing Task Force—serving as a co-facilitator on the Incubator Start-Up Sub Group. Within the community, he is a board member for Altamont Community Traditions, Inc., and is a volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House of Albany. Fahrenkopf is seeking his first term on the board.




Christine Hayes

Christine Hayes

Hayes, of 501 Sir Charles Way, Albany, has been a district resident for more than 23 years. Hayes attended Westmere Elementary School, Farnsworth Middle School, and graduated from Guilderland High School. She holds a B.A. and C.A.S. in Education from The College of Saint Rose, and went on to graduate from the New England School of Law with her J.D.. Hayes also received an LL.M from Suffolk University Law School. She currently serves as in-house counsel at Albany Medical Center, working alongside four other attorneys to provide legal representation and services throughout the Medical Center. Hayes is also a certified teacher, and has served as both a student teacher and substitute teacher within the Guilderland Central School District. She was also previously involved in the practice of education law. Hayes is seeking her second consecutive term on the board.







Seema RiveraSeema Rivera

Rivera, of 823 Creek Court, Slingerlands, has lived in the Guilderland School District for the past 2 ½ years, but also grew up within the district—graduating from Guilderland High School. Rivera and her husband, Antonio, have two children, Lily and Sage, one of whom currently attends Guilderland Elementary School. Rivera attended SUNY Binghamton, graduating with a B.S. in Psychology; the College of Saint Rose, graduating with a M.S. in Adolescent Chemistry & General Sciences; and subsequently the University at Albany, earning a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. Rivera is currently a teaching and learning specialist for Schenectady County Community College. She is also a proposal and journal reviewer for several organizations, including Innovative Instruction Technology Grants, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, and Association for Science Teacher Education. Rivera also serves as a committee member of the Equity and Ethics Board for the National Association for Research in Science Teaching and is a member of the SUNY Community of Online Teaching Excellence. Rivera is seeking her first term on the board.




All in Favor: Cast your vote for student success!

Your local school board makes the decisions that determine how your community's children are educated and how your tax dollars are spent. Voting for school board members is a simple but powerful way to support student success and strengthen your community. Read more about how to cast your vote for student success in this helpful brochure provided by the New York State School Boards Association. (PDF)