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The Times
  • Newly formed school district elects board members

  • Voters of the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District Tuesday elected seven members to the district’s first board of education.

    Voters elected Susanne Sammons, Renee Swartz, Ben Conte, Lee Quackenbush, Neil Clark, Cindy Breh and Keith Handy — some of whom currently serve on the boards of the two districts — to the board that will take immediate control of the new district.

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  • Voters of the Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville Central School District Tuesday elected seven members to the district’s first board of education.
    Voters elected Susanne Sammons, Renee Swartz, Ben Conte, Lee Quackenbush, Neil Clark, Cindy Breh and Keith Handy — some of whom currently serve on the boards of the two districts — to the board that will take immediate control of the new district.
    According to a news release, in order to stagger the number of seats up for election each year on the board, the candidates elected with the most votes received the longest terms, while those elected with the fewest votes received shorter terms.
    As they received the most votes, Sammons, Swartz and Conte will serve full three-year terms. Sammons received 508 votes, Swartz 501 and Conte 448. Quackenbush and Clark each will serve two-year terms. Quackenbush received 394 votes and Clark received 370. Breh and Handy will serve one-year terms. Breh received 357 votes and Handy 350.
    Sammons is currently serving her sixth year on the Oppenheim-Ephratah Board of Education and works as a technical assistant at Fulton-Montgomery Community College. Swartz has served two years on the St. Johnsville school board and is a registered nurse and director of nursing at Wells Nursing Home in Johnstown. Conte began serving on the Oppenheim-Ephratah Board of Education this year and is an instructor at Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES and Fulton-Montgomery Community College. Quackenbush is a town of Oppenheim resident who retired after serving 33 years in public education and Clark is a hydroelectric maintenance mechanic for Brookfield Renewable Power and a resident of St. Johnsville. Breh is currently serving her first year on the Oppenheim-Ephratah school board and is self-employed and Handy is a dairy and crop farmer who served on the St. Johnsville Board of Education from 1990 to 2005.
    St. Johnsville Superintendent of Schools Laura Campione-Lawrence said Tuesday evening about 800 voters went to the polls and that turnout was higher than expected.
    “There were about 100 voters when the polls first opened at noon, and then they continued to stream in throughout the day,” she said. “It’s great to see so many people take an interest in the new district. Eight hundred is a good number of voters.”
    Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel will convene the board’s organizational meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the St. Johnsville Junior – Senior High School auditorium. The board will vote on a president and vice president at the meeting, and will be responsible for choosing a superintendent, negotiating contracts and finalizing the district’s first budget in the coming weeks.
    As in the past, on the third Tuesday of May, district residents will be asked to go to the polls to vote on the annual school district budget and to elect board of education members. The 2013 – 2014 budget vote will take place on May 21. As voters have already selected board members, there will be no board candidates on the May 21 ballot. Two board seats will be on the May 2014 ballot.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville school district will begin operation on July 1.
    “The new board of education will certainly have a lot to accomplish in the weeks and months ahead,” said Campione-Lawrence.
    Other candidates in Tuesday’s board of education election were Darren Bellen, Bruce Carpenter, Chad Eggleston, Glen Blanchard, Patricia Christensen, William Lints and David Christopher Mosher.
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