Meet the Fulton school board candidates

Four seats are open on the Fulton City School District Board of Education. There are five candidates:

Incumbent Barbara Hubbard, Timothy Crandell, incumbent David Cordone, Pamela Parker and Robert Briggs.

The four persons receiving the most votes during the May 20 election will serve three-year terms beginning in July.

Learn more about the five candidates:

Barbara Hubbard (incumbent)

  • Age: 63
  • Address: 74 S. Pollard Drive
  • Occupation: Formerly teacher and principal; Retired as principal at Granby Elementary School; 35 years in education
  • Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration
  • How long have you served on the board? 3 years
  • What is the biggest issue facing the Fulton City School District and how would you address it? “The biggest issue facing the Fulton City School District is providing a high quality education to each and every student while keeping costs at a reasonable level. The district is faced with increasing costs as all businesses do. We have unfunded state mandates that impose an expense on the district. Sometimes these mandates call for training for teachers and administrators, and we have to pay for substitute teachers. In addition, our buildings have to be maintained so that our students are in a safe environment. Also, we face inadequate funding from the State. Fulton is a high needs low wealth district. We are highly dependent on the State for revenue. Since we continue to be in a society where we are preparing students for jobs and careers that don’t even exist yet, the technology opportunities that we offer our students must be current and relevant. This costs money as well. Over the years we have had to cut positions and programs due to inadequate funding.
    “In order to face this challenge I would keep our students as our first priority. I would encourage our district administration to seek out all possible ways to save the district money, such as our Energy Performance Contracts. I would support the seeking of grants as a way to bring programs into the district that would benefit our students. I would ask questions of our legislative representatives and strive to bring more funds to the District. Maximization of every tax dollar will be critical. I will strive to be fiscally responsible while working to meet the needs of all of our students through a quality educational experience.”

Timothy Crandell

  • Age: 54
  • Address: 9 Litwak St.
  • Occupation: Manager at Sorbello and Sons
  • Education: Graduated from G. Ray Bodley High School in 1978
  • How long have you served on the board? xxx
  • What is the biggest issue facing the Fulton City School District and how would you address it? “Getting the funding we need to keep taxes down, keep spending in check and seek more state funds.”

David Cordone (incumbent)

  • Age: 50
  • Address: 26 N. Pollard Drive
  • Occupation: Educator
  • Education: Certificate of Advanced Study in School Administration, SUNY Oswego (2001); Master’s of Science Degree, SUNY Oswego, Reading Education (1993); Bachelor’s of Science Degree Elementary Education and Psychology (1990); Associate In Applied Science Degree, SUNY Canton, Science Laboratory Technology (1984); Graduated from G. Ray Bodley High School (1982)
  • How long have you served on the board? I have served a total of 9 years on the Fulton BOE; 201-2007; 2011-2014. Served as Clerk 2002-2006; Vice President (2006-2007); Board President (2012-2014)
  • What is the biggest issue facing the Fulton City School District, and how would you address it? “The primary roles of a school board is to govern through its adoption of policy and to attend to the fiscal oversight of the district. Boards of education are also responsible for all appointments of hire, and school boards are responsible for the granting of tenure to our employees who are hired to deliver instruction to our students.
    “Given that the field of education is ever changing, the pace of change for the field has occurred at warp-speed for the past 4 years, with the effects of President Obama’s “Race to the Top” agenda that have resulted in the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards, significant changes to the way that teachers and principals are evaluated, and greater attention paid to our students who need to be “career or college ready” by the end of their high school careers. These are a lot of balls to be juggling at once, as they present numerous decisions for boards in many areas. For our broader community, the greatest challenge is to find a way to balance all of the above initiatives with state aid that has been very limited for the past five budget cycles (resulting in programing reductions for our students and increased class sizes in our schools), and our school board has the added challenge of making these decisions as a low-wealth/high-need-district, in a manner that minimizes the demand on our communities challenged-local-tax-levy. For our students and instructional staff, the board’s greatest challenge is to find the most effective means to support our students and staff with all of the related changes from implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards, the increased level of student testing, and the teacher and principal evaluation requirements of Education Law 3012.c.
    “I am willing to continue to represent and serve all of the members of our community as a member of the Fulton Board of Education, if I am re-elected. I have two children enrolled in the Fulton City School District, so all decisions made by me as a board member have a personal connection.”

Pamela Parker

  • Age: 40
  • Address: 409 Park St.
  • Occupation: Homemaker; Owner of I Love Me, Inc : Jewelry designer; Full time mom
  • Education: Some college
  • What is the biggest issue facing the Fulton City School District, and how would you address it? “Students, teachers and parents are very frustrated. I fear that as we go forward, more and more of our kids are going to be dropouts. There will be more teachers that are frustrated with impossible situations, and parents that have no support or don’t know what to do. I would like to join together as a community and help build a program that would solve the issues that we all face — frustrations that some of us have no outlet for. I speak as a parent of three, all of whom have been in the FCSD since 2005. Programs such as YAP were beneficial, but it was cancelled so that another program could be implemented in its place. That program has yet to come to light. My youngest was a YAP client, and since that program has closed, it has been a constant struggle. I am not ashamed to admit it, and I know I am not alone.”

Robert Briggs

  • Age: 40
  • Address: 814 W. 1st St. S.
  • Occupation: I’m in my fifth year as a school administrator.  I’m currently working in the Mexico Academy and Central School District,  prior to that I was principal at Lanigan Elementary School in Fulton.
  • Education: Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from SUNY Oswego, a Master of Science in Elementary Education from SUNY Oswego and a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from SUNY Geneseo
  • What is the biggest issue facing the Fulton City School District and how would you address it? “The biggest issues facing the district are the implementation of the Regents Reform Agenda and the fiscal limitations our district, and surrounding ones, are faced with.  If I’m elected, I will focus on the work at hand and strive to support our students, families, and community members.  We have several challenges in front of us and need leadership that will focus on the work at hand and not create new, unnecessary distractions that take away from the work that needs to be done.”
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