Two seats will be open on Board of Education
On May 16, residents will vote to fill two seats on
the Schoharie Central School District Board of Education for terms
running from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2020.
The seats are currently held
by Maureen Bernhardt, whose term expires June 30, and Karen Olewnick,
who was appointed last fall to fill a vacancy created when James Bleau
resigned from the Board after moving out of the district. That term also
expires June 30.
Individuals are eligible for election to the Board
of Education if they are qualified voters of the district (district
resident, U.S. citizen, age 18 or older) and can read and write. New
York State Education law does not limit the number of terms of office a
member may serve.
The Board of Education is comprised of seven
residents elected to serve overlapping, unpaid terms of three years
each. Together, they:
Establish district policies;
Approve an annual budget proposal;
Approve or disapprove the superintendent's
recommendations on personnel; matters and contracts
Review courses of study and textbooks; and
Act as a communication link between residents
and the school district.
Information on the candidates is provided below in
the order they will appear on the ballot, according to the random
drawing for ballot positions.
Laraine Gell is seeking her first
term on the Board of Education. Laraine and her husband, Barry, live in
Schoharie with their two children who attend Schoharie Elementary
School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the University
of New Hampshire and a master’s degree in counseling psychology at
Teachers College of Columbia University and is employed as a school
counselor at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk High School. Gell has been an
active member of the Schoharie Elementary Parent Teacher Student
Organization (EPTSO) and has served as secretary for the past five
years. She has been involved in the community as assistant coach of her
daughter’s softball team.
John Florussen is seeking his first
term on the Board of Education. He and his wife, Heidi, live in Berne
with their three children. Two sons attend Schoharie Elementary School
and a third will start pre-K in Schoharie next year. Florussen earned a
bachelor’s degree in film and TV production at Queensland College of
Art, Australia, and a master’s degree in English at the State University
of New York at Albany. He is employed by Capital Region BOCES as an
administrative assistant in the textbook loan, science kit and courier
services. He volunteers as coordinator and coach of Schoharie’s
2nd-grade Basketball Club, assistant coach with Schoharie Little League
and as a musician and performer at local cultural events.
Maureen Bernhardt is seeking her
second term on the Board of Education, where she is currently vice
president, home school liaison and a member of the negotiations
committee. She and her husband Ken live in Schoharie and have six
children, including five who attend Schoharie Central Schools. A
Schoharie High School graduate, Bernhardt earned an associate’s degree
in early childhood education at SUNY Cobleskill and is employed as a
teaching assistant at Middleburgh Central School. She is actively
involved as a volunteer with her children’s sports activities, including
assisting at track meets and coaching Little League, and as a member of
her local church.
[3/2017 u 4/11/17 & 4/26/17]