May 15, 2014

St. Regis Falls School seat up for vote


---- — ST. REGIS FALLS — Two people are vying for one five-year seat on the St. Regis Falls Central School Board.

Incumbent Thomas O'Bryan is being challenged by newcomer Stacey Mascia-Susice.

Here are candidate responses to questions posed by the Press-Republican:

What do you see as the biggest issue the district is facing?

O’Bryan: “To find new ways to properly manage our finances during this uncertain economy while also equipping our students with the critical self-management and academic skills that are crucial to being successful in a career and in college.

Mascia-Susice: “The most fundamental challenge that I see — other than financial, which is every district’s concern right now — is the possible consolidation of institutional sites. It seems there is some division within the communities as to whether or not smaller schools should be physically combined.

"If elected, before I make an informed decision on this issue, I would like to see feasibility studies — including both pro and con stances — on this particular issue.”

What do you want to see the board accomplish as a whole if you are elected?

O’Bryan: “To focus our entire school, our parents and community on working together to give each and every one of our unique and talented kids the best possible educational opportunity. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all education.”

Mascia-Susice: “More discourse opened on the issue of Common Core. In speaking with parents of students in varied grade levels, I have found universal concerns, such as the excessive curricular materials and new expectations of assessment that overwhelm students and educators, and parents are frustrated with the challenging modules and curricular modifications, specifically in elementary through Middle School.

"I would also like to see the board facilitate a smoother transition between 12th grade to the first-year college experience. We have a Bridge Program that invites high-school students to take college-level courses that will transfer into SUNY institutions.

"Lastly, students benefit greatly from participation in performance arts. We do a fine job promoting academics and athletics, but let us encourage our students’ creative endeavors. It would benefit our small communities if students produced more plays, concerts and art shows throughout the academic year, as we are remotely located without many performance art venues.”

Email Denise A. Raymo:


Age: 54.

Occupation: Retired manager of warehousing and delivery systems.

Education: Owego Free Academy; Broome Community College; SUNY Potsdam.

Civic organizations: Institute for Learning-Centered Education Board of Directors chairman; Adirondack Teachers' Center Policy Board member.

Previous school board experience: Currently vice president of St. Regis Falls Central School Board; board member, the Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES.

Family: Wife, Sunny.


Age: 43.

Occupation: Associate professor of English, North Country Community College. Education: Ph.D. in literature and criticism, Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Civic organizations: North Country Community College Curriculum Committee chairperson; leader of student holiday visits to Malone adult home; collects supplies for local animal shelters.

Family: Husband, Lee Susice.