SARANAC -- Two candidates are vying for the sole open seat on the Saranac Central School Board.

Running are incumbent Jules LaPoint and Amy Belair.

LaPoint would like to enhance the educational opportunities for Saranac Central School students, while keeping in mind the burden on taxpayers.

Belair said she would work toward greater collaboration between parents, administrators and teachers.

Here are their answer to questions posed by the Press-Republican:

How will you balance the fiscal concerns of taxpayers with the education needs of students?

LaPoint: "First, I weigh the programming for the children. I want to maintain what we have and if possible add to the educational opportunities for children, along with being fiscally responsible to the taxpayers.

"We closed two schools. We had a new superintendent, and he came out with a good budget his first year, and this year they really stepped up to the plate for us. We are able to maintain what we have for programming and add a couple new positions to the new Middle School.

"Our budget this year is very good. We have maintained and added some enhancements to the Middle School. The budget is projected to be a decrease in the tax rate. We had to give something back to the taxpayers for closing two buildings."

Belair: "Having been in the district a couple years with a disabled child I believe there are a lot of resources being under-utilized. There is a lot of interest in developing programs on a volunteer basis to educate parents and make it a more cohesive collaboration between parents and teachers. There needs to be more collaboration. I don't think management is utilizing the free things in the district."

If elected to the School Board, what would you most like to accomplish?

LaPoint: "It is hard to accomplish anything alone. We have a good board. It's a diverse board with a lot of different input that all leads to good ideas. We would like to maintain and enhance our educational opportunities for the children of district while being responsible to the taxpayers. We are hoping to sell the two buildings to try to alleviate the taxpayers a little more."

Belair: "Again, I would like to see greater collaboration between parents and administration and teachers. I would like there to be more consistent communication rather than just parent/teacher night.

"I would like to see more workshops set up done by teachers on what they want from us. What can parents do to help teachers along the way? The collaboration thing is a really big need. We have a lot of under-utilized resources that are not monetary in nature and wouldn't affect the taxpayers."

sbartlett@pressrepublican.com

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