May 17, 2014

7 vie for 3 Salmon River Central seats

FORT COVINGTON — Seven candidates are vying for three seats on the Salmon River Central School Board.

Residents will decide who will represent them for the next five years when voting between noon and 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 20, in the school auditorium.

The candidates are Jon Pontius, Sheila Marshall (incumbent), Jason McDonald, Michael Connors Jr., Tammy Francis, Darrell Lapage and Robert Durant (incumbent).

The Press-Republican spoke with Francis, Lapage, Pontius, Connors and Durant. Attempts to reach Marshall and McDonald were not successful, but included here are comments each provided to the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe about their candidacy.

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

Connors: “Getting everybody to adapt to the Common Core standards. That has been a challenge for a lot of the students, but they are stepping up and facing that challenge. It was difficult, especially at the beginning of the year, and it’s even difficult for the parents, but now we have to get all of the students to go along with it. I am committed to the school and the district, and we need to do what’s best for the school as a whole.”

Durant: “The budget is the biggest thing and getting our money from the state. We’re down something like $5 million because of the Gap Elimination Adjustment. It’s sad, but we’ve been working hard to maintain all of our programs.”

Francis: “The Common Core modules. I’ve been researching 2012 data, and our ELA testing shows we’re struggling. Teachers are teaching to the test, but the teachers cannot get the tests back to see where the students need to improve. And I think we’ve spent too much on the capital project. We need to make sure our school has a new roof and safe classrooms, but we need to get back to the basics of education.”

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