2020-21 Board of Education Candidates

Meet the Board of Education candidates

 

Ernest W. Kuehl, Jr.

Background/biography:
My qualifications are a perfect fit to the needs of the Board of Education.  As a teacher, author, and evaluator, I am prepared to grapple with the intractable problems in education.  As a parent, homeowner, volunteer, and retired resident of Rensselaerville, I have the broad perspective and time to represent the community.

Why are you running for a seat on the Board of Education?
Much progress has been made toward making MCS not just a good school, but a great school.  I am proud to have been part of that progress.

As the Board of Education representative on the District’s curriculum, facilities, and educational technology committees, I have ensured that the BOE goals have challenged and guided program initiatives.  Rather than presenting symbolic, idealistic goals, our goals have been concrete and measurable, and thus attainable.  We have directed the Superintendent to promote the BOE goals in his leadership of the faculty and staff.  He routinely reminds every one of the goals and holds them accountable.  I believe that y presence at District committee meetings and at the schools during the day when they are in operation emphasizes my serious concern for the District.

Prior to the identification of MCS as a FOCUS District, I had already raised several of the issues cited as problems by the New York State evaluators.  Addressing problem areas has led to an improvement in teaching and learning.  A coordinated curriculum, learning targets, and formal lesson plans are now part of the routine supervision of instruction.  The current school closure points out the necessity for the technology committee to plan for immediate student engagement rather than trying to predict what the school of the future might resemble.  There is more work to be done on both the technology and curriculum committees; my experience as a National Science Foundation sponsored author and an International Baccalaureate examiner will continue to be useful.

We will soon see the first progress toward the repairs and improvements to the facilities resulting from the recent Capital Project Bond.  The Facilities Committee on which I serve carefully considered the wish lists generated by the community and chose to avoid frills in favor of necessities.  I look forward to monitoring the actual work.

Challenges continue to confront MCS on all sides; financial, social, curricular, and technological.  As the independent voice on the Board, I constantly ask questions and point out potential problems.  I humbly ask for your support.

Scott VanKuren

Background/biography:
My name is Scott VanKuren and I have lived in the Middleburgh School District since 1992. I had operated a business in our town for over twenty years, and I am very fond of, and acquainted with our community. 

My two daughters were educated at MCS, and my step daughter is currently attending our school as a freshman. I currently reside in Preston Hollow with my partner Charylie Dennis,  and her daughter Jolene Dines, and we operate and maintain our farm on Middlefort Road in Middleburgh.  I am employed by Golub Corp, and manage their Price Chopper pharmacy in Cobleskill. 

 Why are you running for a seat on the Board of Education?
I have decided to run for school board at this point in time for a number of reasons.

As ever growing costs, expenses,  and budgets run headlong into diminishing resources there comes a point in time where a system can break. Programs are slashed, corners are cut, and although large amounts are spent, the true mission is lost.

I  feel that a public education is the single most important gift our government will ever bestow upon you, and I feel that it is in jeopardy in our current environment; more so now. 

I feel that quality is dying at alter of cost, and that is affecting what the children are receiving. 

I sense that morale is low, that tensions are high and that the environment for learning is under pressure. 

My goal is to increase the quality of education for the children of our district, and to ensure that the scarce resources we enjoy are directed towards that goal.