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Four candidates for two Onteora seats

April 30, 2012 05:00 PM | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
There are four candidates who will be vying for two seats on the Onteora district School Board of Education in the district’s May 15 election. Two are incumbents running as a team — Tony Fletcher and Laurie Osmond — and two newcomers (who say they are not running together, but do support each other), Rebecca Balzac and Cybele Nielsen. This appears to be the first hotly contested race since eight people vied for four seats in 2008. Balzac and Nielsen are challenging the incumbents due in large part to a recent decision known as the Bookend Plan that will reconfigure the grade structure in the district’s three elementary schools, making Woodstock and Phoenicia schools into Kindergarten-through-grade three building with an early literacy program, and Bennett, in Boiceville, into a grade four-through-six intermediate school, focused on Project Based Learning, as opposed to a more traditional model. All candidates support the current proposal of Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Spiegel-McGill for budget reduction of 1.69 percent and that contains no tax levy increase. All four encourage voters to approve the $49.6 million budget on May 15. But that seems to be where their agreements stop and the debate begins. Here are the candidates views collected via phone interviews and email exchanges. They are presented in the order in which they appear on the ballot.

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