By BEN ROWE
---- — CHAMPLAIN — Three candidates are running for two seats on the Northeastern Clinton Central School Board.
The person who receives the most votes will win a five-year term, while the one who garners the second-most votes will win the two-year, unexpired term of Donna Boumil.
Seeking seats are incumbent Linda Gonyo-Horne, Rena Bosley and Ann Leduc.
Here are the candidates’ responses to questions posed by the Press-Republican:
How would you balance the financial needs of the taxpayers with the educational needs of the students?
Bosley: “You have to look at the past and compare other communities. You can go to the OSC (Office of the State Comptroller) website and get comparisons and histories, plus people voice their concerns.
Gonyo-Horne: “I strongly believe the education of our children is the future of our community and our nation. It’s very difficult because I understand people have a huge tax burden as it is in this state, but it’s very necessary to be sure our children are prepared for the future and that our country is ready for the future. It’s definitely a juggling act, and it’s getting harder with the pressures the state is putting on.
“As rural schools, we’re not getting our fair share of the state budget, and we need to keep raising our voices and doing what we can to make sure the Legislature knows we’re here. The children of New York state are the children of New York state, and the zip code they have should not dictate the kind of education they get, and at this point in time that is what’s happening. Where a child lives determines what quality of education they get and that cannot continue to happen.
As well, she said, “the elimination of the GEA (Gap Elimination Adjustment) is vital to the economic health of our rural schools.
Leduc: “I think we have to look at, specifically, what we are spending our money on and where we can reduce the cause without affecting education. It’s not going to be easy, it has not been easy in the past, it’s probably not going to be easy in the future.
“I think the community is looking at, ‘Look at all these taxes I have to pay. Why? I don’t even have kids going to school.’ But, you know, the School District brings more than just education to the children; they’re forming our leaders and forming future community leaders, and the school itself should bring some benefit to the area.
“I know people who attend open swim at the school, and they support the school even though they don’t have kids there by attending sporting events. It’s part of the community.”
Why do you think you would be a good choice for the School Board?
Bosley: “My concern is for the future, with my girls starting school, and I have quite a few friends in the educational system as well. I’ve always been a peacemaker when you have two factions or divisions, being a mediator for both, bringing two extremes to a middle.”
Gonyo-Horne: “I keep current with the issues. I work well with other people. I’ve got the experience. We’ve got a great budget this year. We’ve done a good job of balancing the tax burden. We provide a great education at Northeastern, and I just believe I can continue to do so.”
Leduc: “I know the businesses in the area. I know the students in the area. I’ve had children in the School District since 1982, so I’ve been exposed to the same school for all of that time period, so I’ve gotten to learn a lot about the school.
“I know most of the teachers in the School District, and I know the businesses and the community very well. I have some family members who are business owners in the community, so I know the struggles that they have with the financial end of things, the taxes that they have to pay, and I think a lot of it has to do with helping the community understand the value that the school brings to the community and to them as business leaders because we’re educating their future workers and maybe some future business leaders as well.”
Occupation: Senior import specialist at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Champlain.
Education: Northeastern Clinton Central School graduate; bachelor's degree in political science, Siena College; graduate degree courses in counseling, SUNY Plattsburgh.
Civic organizations: Jurisdictional president for Northeast/New England Jurisdiction of Woodmen of the World (member since 1983); president of Rouses Point-Champlain Kiwanis Club (member since 2000); Catholic Daughters Court Lily of the Mohawks member since 2000; former Boy Scouts of America Committee member; former 4-H leader. Military service: ROTC for three years at Siena.
Previous School Board experience: NCCS Board member since 2009 (past president); Champlain Valley Educational Services Board member 2002 through 2008 and 2009 through present; Rural Schools Association director, 2004 through 2008, 2011 through present.
Family: Husband, Michael Horne; four adult children.
Occupation: Manager at a customs brokerage company.
Education: Northeastern Clinton High School graduate, college courses.
Civic organizations: Veteran of Foreign Wars Auxiliary member; past member, North Country Chamber of Commerce. Previous School Board experience: Former president of Champlain Children's Learning Center Board of Directors (board member for 10 years).
Family: Husband, Michael Beede; four adult children.
Occupation: Confidential secretary to Mooers Town Council.
Education: Home schooled for high school; associate degree in graphic design, Pittsburgh Arts Institute.
Military service: National Guard Army Reserve 1990 through 1998.
Family: Husband, Ricky; two children, Samantha, 8; Olivia, 5.