In addition to voting on school district budgets on Tuesday, May 21, there will also be Board of Education seats up for election.
Check with local districts for polling locations and times.
Brocton Central School
BROCTON - Two five-year terms are up for election for the Brocton Central School Board of Education. The candidates with the two highest votes will receive the board seats.
Jim Farrell has resided in Brocton since 2000. He is the former owner of Farrell's Resale of Fredonia. Farrell has been active in the community, volunteering for fundraising events and in the St. Bernard Rescue. Suffering from diabetes and kidney failure, Farrell was able to receive a kidney/pancreas transplant in 2001. Wanting to give something back, he started Boy Scout Troup 217 in Brocton.
"Many of the boys I taught are now young men and will be graduating this summer," Farrell wrote.
Farrell has an apple farm and is planning on participating in the Farm to School program. When asked why he moved to Brocton, Farrell states," I wanted to raise my children in a good school in a good community."
Beth Jagoda has resided in the Brocton Central School District since 2013. She earned a Bachelor's of Science in elementary education from SUNY Fredonia and a Master of Science in education in the area of curriculum, instruction and assessment from Walden University. Jagoda has been a substitute teacher in various area school districts as well as head teacher at an area child care center. Currently she is a stay at home mother.
Her community involvement includes being an active member of the Portland Volunteer Fire Department in which she has been a member since 2004. Jagoda also served on the Advisory Committee for the Brocton-Westfield consolidation study.
She and her husband, Steve, are the parents of three young children, one of whom is currently enrolled in kindergarten at BCS.
"As a parent and resident of the community, I feel it is important to be involved in the decision making process that involves the education of the students this district serves," Jagoda wrote. "When working on my degrees in education, I built the knowledge and understanding of both theory and practices that are important for educating students. As a mother, I have learned the importance of having a school district that supports the needs of students and their families. It is imperative that there be communication between the teachers, administrators, board members, parents and the community to ensure that we are preparing students for their future."
Robert Mead-Colegrove has been a district resident for over 12 years with his wife and two sons, Timothy and Andrew, who attend Brocton elementary school. He enjoys being involved with the school district, often volunteering at elementary field days, assisting in the construction of the elementary playground and chaperoning during chorus concerts.
Mead-Colegrove earned his Bachelor's Degree in mathematics education from SUNY Fredonia. He has a Master's in education and has completed his coursework for a PhD in higher education leadership, both at the University at Buffalo. Mead-Colegrove currently is the director of orientation and new student programs at Buffalo State, where he also teaches leadership courses in the Department of Creative Studies.
"After growing up in a small town similar to Brocton (Wellsville, N.Y.) I knew I wanted to raise my own family in a tight-knit community with a family atmosphere," Mead-Colegrove wrote. "I believe all the students of Brocton should be able to get the best possible education. I think it is the responsibility of the BCS board to work diligently to ensure a good educational environment. I am dedicated to working with the community and fellow board members to help our students succeed and helping our community thrive."
Chautauqua Lake Central School
MAYVILLE - Chautauqua Lake Central School preferred not to submit information and photos for individuals running for its Board of Education for two reasons:
this information has already been mailed directly to every district resident and is on its website, www.clake.org; and
publishing this information in the paper would reach only a fraction of district residents and might therefore meet with complaints about preferential treatment for certain residents over others.
Clymer Central School
CLYMER - Clymer Central School has no contested board seats.
Panama Central School
PANAMA - Panama Central School has two board seats up for election and two incumbents, and thus neither are contested.
Ripley Central School
RIPLEY - Two three-year terms are up for election for the Ripley Central School Board of Education. Paul A. McCutcheon is running unopposed for the vacant seat, and incumbent Frederick Krause is running against Wanda N. Bentley for the other.
Wanda Bentley is a lifelong resident of Ripley and a graduate of Ripley Central School. She has two sons who are also residents and RCS graduates.
She received certification in estate appraisals and liquidations offered at Mercyhurst, North East, Pa., and in 1993 opened an antique shop in Ripley. In 1997, Bentley expanded the business to include a full service flower shop and served the community for 19 years. She was a trained hospice volunteer and in 2000 her efforts helped to form the Ripley Area Chamber of Commerce.
Her involvement in Ripley school has been extensive as she was an office worker, kindergarten volunteer, served on the Shared Decision Making Team, assisted with Ripley youth gymnastics, as well as past PTO member. Bentley was elected to the Board of Education for two consecutive terms serving as vice president for three years and was appointed for an eight month vacancy. She attended and completed a two day training seminar for board members in Albany, learning rules, regulations and community service.
Today, Bentley works as a full time office manager and supports her school and community in any possible way. She would like to see restricted board terms, more student participation and involvement and more information available to the taxpayers.
Frederick R. Krause
Number of years as a district resident: Frederick R. Krause is a lifelong resident and a 1971 graduate of Ripley Central School.
Service on the board: Krause has served the community of Ripley as a Board of Education member for 16 years, having been reelected five successive times. Krause was responsible for spearheading the addition of a pre-school program to the RCS kindergarten through 12th grade program in 1998. After a study was conducted, a half-day preschool program was successfully implemented at the school. Because of this forward thinking, when federal monies were offered to public schools to institute Universal Pre-Kindergarten programs, or UPK, Ripley was ready and able to benefit from this funding. The UPK program continues today as a full-day program bringing many benefits and opportunities to Ripley children and their families. Also, with the exception of one year, Krause has consistently fulfilled the role of BOCES liaison for the board.
Employment: Krause is retired from the Ripley Town Highway Department where he worked for 25 years. In his retirement, Krause works part-time at Stetson Brothers' Hardware in North East, Pa., and as a certified consumer electronics technician, spends much of his spare time working on electronic equipment and radios. In recent years, Krause put his expertise in electronics to use to help meet district needs. He relocated the district's radio communications antenna, removing the antenna from a remote site to a cost-neutral site. Doing so saved the district in excess of $6,000 annually. Additionally this year, Krause shared his expertise with an analysis of the district's current radio system to meet the requirements of the newly enacted FCC Narrowbanding Mandate. This resulted in significant savings for the district with the purchase of fewer radios and less expensive equipment, while still complying with the new law.
Candidate's statement: "My desire to run for the board again is to help move the school forward. The last few years we (the board) have worked hard toward seeing Regional High Schools become an option for small schools like Ripley. I believe the kids of Ripley deserve all of the chances that students who live in larger towns and villages have. My goal as a continuing member on the board is to continue to look for ways to brings opportunities for students and savings to taxpayers."
Family: Krause helped raise a family of three girls, all of whom graduated from Ripley in 1993, 1996 and 2012. He continues to reside on West Hill Road and is very active in the lives of his grandchildren.
Number of years as a district resident: Paul McCutcheon is a 1988 graduate of Ripley Central School. After graduating from college, he spent seven years in other parts of New York and Pennsylvania, returning to Ripley in January 2000.
Employment: After graduating from RCS, Paul earned an AAS degree in electronics from Jamestown Community College in 1990 and then a BS degree in electrical engineering technology from Rochester Institute of Technology in 1993. He has been employed by Cott Beverage, formerly Cliffstar, in Dunkirk for 13 years and is currently a controls engineer and electrical maintenance supervisor. Additionally, McCutcheon began teaching at JCC this spring as an adjunct instructor in JCC's new Industrial Maintenance Technology program.
Candidate's statement: "Ripley Central School has done a lot for me and my family throughout the years. I certainly wouldn't have chosen the career path that I am on without the education I received and the guidance of some devoted teachers at RCS. My four children all started kindergarten at RCS. For a time my wife worked at RCS when our children were younger. I look forward to the chance to return the favor in some way, taking what I have learned in Ripley and through my other life experiences and doing what I can to give students in our district the same level of opportunity that I had growing up."
Family: McCutcheon and his wife Jodie have four children in the RCS district. Buddy and Heather will be graduating this year. Buddy has enlisted in the U.S. Army as a MP and Heather will be attending JCC in the fall. Zack is a junior and is participating in the motorsports fabrication and precision machining CTE program through Erie 2-Chauqauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES. Tanner is a freshman and was part of the Chautauqua Lake tuitioning pilot program this year.
Sherman Central School
SHERMAN - One five-year term is up for election for the Sherman Central School Board of Education. The candidate with the highest vote total will receive the board seat.
Emily Kidd is a lifetime Chautauqua County resident. She is currently the 4-H Issue Leader for Chautauqua County. She has enjoyed filling the one year appointment with the Sherman Central School Board of Education and hopes to continue to serve the community.
Kidd enjoys working with youth and has been giving horseback riding lessons for over 15 years. She is a graduate of The University of Findlay receiving a Bachelors of Science in western equestrian studies, a Bachelor of Arts in interpersonal communications and a Masters in business administration.
Kidd also enjoys training horses and competing with her three horses. She has excelled in pleasure shows and as a cowboy mounted shooter. She is engaged to marry Anthony Reynolds in 2014. She enjoys her horses, dogs and family time.
Tim Sears is the controller for Fruit Ridge Tools, LLC, which is an Internet company based in Jamestown. He has lived the majority of his life in Sherman and he attended Sherman Central School from kindergarten through his graduation in 1993.
Upon graduation from SCS, Sears attended college, and graduated from Grove City College in 1998 with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in finance. Upon graduation, Sears moved to Chicago where he worked for two years as a financial analyst for Van Kampen Mutual Funds. In 1999 he married Cindy, who is from Cortland, Ohio, and in 2000 they moved to Cleveland, where he worked in the same capacity for McDonald Investments.
Having a desire to return to his "home town," he and Cindy moved back to Sherman in 2001 where he worked as an electrician for Vidal Electric in Sherman until 2005. He has been at his current employment with Fruit Ridge Tools since 2005. Sears is very active in his church, serving as a Deacon, and he also served as the church youth director for nine years. Tim and Cindy have three children, fourth grader Derek, third grader Sarah and pre-kindergartener Nathan in Sherman Central School.
In addition to spending time with his family and his career, Sears currently co-coordinates the Sherman Youth Baseball program with his wife Cindy and coaches two of his children's baseball teams.
Westfield Academy and Central School
WESTFIELD - One five-year term is up for election for the Westfield Academy and Central School Board of Education and one incumbent running, and thus the seat is not contested.
Steve Cockram has been a resident in the Westfield Academy and Central School District for eight years. He is the technical director for Growers Co-op as well as the company liaison to local and national organizations, such as the Lake Erie Regional Grape Program, Juice Products Association and Institute of Food Technologists.
"Three years ago when I ran my statement said that as a taxpayer and parent of students at WACS, I wanted to make the best choices possible for our children. It is still true," Cockram wrote. "The last three years have been a steep learning curve, with administrative turn over, budget shortfalls to make up, policy implementation, APPR, Common Core Curricula and exploring regional high school and merger options. I have jumped in, spending the time necessary to learn the issues. There have been tough programming choices to make to close budget gaps. This background will allow me to tackle the issues ahead of WACS on behalf of the community.
"Schools are at a crossroads," Cockram wrote. "Student enrollment continues its slow decline. The economic model that funds our public education system is broken. State funding has been reduced, while the tax cap limits local revenue. Expenses continue to rise at a faster rate than revenue. The solution so far has been to cut the educational opportunities for our children and grandchildren. Another option is merger. It will improve our student's education by increasing state funding, creating efficiencies on both the administration and teaching sides, and allowing for more class offerings. I believe a merger with Brocton is our best option at giving our students the best educational opportunity.
"I believe that being a taxpayer, a parent, having management experience and being on the WACS board of education gives me a skill set that will be an asset to WACS and our community," Cockram wrote. "I would be honored to be your representative."
His community activities include: Vice President of the WACS Board of Education; board of directors member for the NorthLake Family Recreation Center; Westfield Methodist Church; Concord Grape Belt Heritage Association; and organizing 7 a.m. bike rides and cross country skiing with other "old guys."
His family consists of his wife, Karin, who is an occupational therapist and three children, one who graduated from WACS last year, and two in WACS high and middle schools.