Tom Templeton for Shenendehowa School Board

I am writing in support of Thomas Edward Templeton MSEd, LMHC, who is running for a seat on the Shenendehowa School Board of Education. Tom is a counselor at, and the owner of, the Templeton Mental Health Counseling, PLLC in Latham NY 12110.

Tom is a graduate of Shenendehowa Central Schools and is the father of two children, a daughter and a son. Tom was a student of mine, always very studious, with a great sense of responsibility and has a terrific sense of humor. Tom is very talented and active in many local theater productions. The teachers at Shenendehowa always knew that when Tom grew up he would go on to accomplish great things.

Tom would like all decisions to be driven by evidence and sound judgement. For over a decade his work has focused on the myriad of issues that children, families and couples face which may impact their ability to lead healthy, functional, and meaningful lives.

Tom, if elected, is looking forward to sharing his expertise to foster a student centered vision of learning, in particular how we as a community might effectively respond to the massive socioemotional impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we may better promote diversity and inclusivity at Shenendehowa. 

Vote for Tom Templeton for the Shenendehowa School Board of Education.

Respectfully, 

Terence Virga, retired teacher from Shenendehowa.

Members of the Shenendehowa Community,

On May 18 at Gowana Middle School, you have the opportunity to vote on four propositions affecting the Shenendehowa Central School District. The first three are to approve the 2021-22 school budget, the purchase of 17 new school buses and a new capital project. The fourth is to elect three members to the Board of Education. I hope you will vote yes on the first three propositions to support Shenendehowa’s continued excellence and humbly request your vote for a seat on the Board.

My name is Jason DiGianni and I am running for the Board of Education because my background in education, successful tenure on a public board and leadership experience in my career demonstrate the skills and qualifications required to help the district meet the challenges and opportunities on the horizon.

Since joining the board in February, I’ve learned a lot about all it takes to make Shenendehowa operate. From attending PTA meetings and other events to reviewing policies, contracts, staff adjustments and student placements, I’m ready to hit the ground running once the next term starts. I also have a strong background and passion for education, having taught political science at the University at Albany for nearly ten years. This experience helped me understand the importance of a strong K-12 educational foundation for our students to succeed in the next chapter of their lives.

Over the past decade, I’ve served on the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Public Library Board of Trustees and held the roles of President and Vice President. I worked collaboratively with the other elected Trustees and the library’s leadership team to maintain the library’s position at the center of our community. Through this role, I learned what it takes go before the taxpayers of our community and ask them to fund a responsible budget I helped develop. I understand the nuance of drafting policies that affect library patrons and the staff who work there. Further, I know how to weather the many curveballs life throws our way from fiscal crises to once-a-century pandemics.

I am currently employed as Director of Procurement at the New York State Division of the Budget, where I’ve also held roles in the areas of human resources, information security and auditing. Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve taken a leading role in the State’s response efforts, which has proven to be an extremely challenging, but fulfilling assignment.

On a personal note, my two daughters attend Shenendehowa (6th grade Gowana and 4th grade Orenda) and my wife is a School Counselor at High School East. Through my family members’ day-to-day experiences I have a profound respect and appreciation for the hard work and dedication it takes to serve our students and what it’s like to walk the halls as a student on their educational journey.

My collective experience has prepared me to be an effective member of the school board. I will be ready on day one to help Shenendehowa navigate out of the pandemic and back to a sense of normal. I will use my passion for education and experience working with others to ensure the district continues to excel - preparing students for success in achieving their goals (however they define them), sparking students’ curiosity about the world and people around them, ensuring fairness and access to all students in the district, and creating good citizens and strengthening the bonds that connect us.

Finally, I am proud to have been endorsed by the Shenendehowa Teachers Association and CSEA, and to have been selected by the current board to fill the recent vacancy. I believe this universal selection is a testament to my qualifications, experience, and ability to be a strong member of the Board of Education and worthy of your trust.

Please vote “Yes” on the first three propositions and select Jason DiGianni for the Board of Education.

Thank you.

Jason DiGianni

My name is Stacey Pflomm, and I am seeking a seat on the Shenendehowa Board of Education.  My family and I have been residents of Clifton Park for 13 years.  I have two daughters who attend Shen, one in 7th grade at Gowana Middle School and one in 9th grade at High School West. I have been fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom to them for the past 15 years, an experience I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

I am seeking this position because I have always been passionate about education.  I taught Italian at Binghamton University while I was doing my graduate work in Secondary Education.  After that, I went on to teach Italian and Spanish at a middle school and high school in Long Island.  I took a break from teaching to raise my children, but now that they are a little older, I have the time and energy to devote to education again.

I care deeply about our children and the impact that the decisions the board makes will have on them.  I also firmly believe in the importance of participating in public affairs.  I feel called to give back to this great community that has given so much to my family.  As a member of the school board, I will be an advocate for our children and a voice for parents and teachers. 

I am an effective communicator, a good listener, a hard worker, and a life-long learner.  I look forward to the challenges that will come with this new role.  I will work tirelessly to effect positive changes for our children and move us forward as a community while we put this pandemic behind us.  In the end, I believe that we all want three basic things for our kids - that they be happy, healthy and safe.  I will make these things my goals!  Please give me the opportunity to serve this amazing community and vote Stacey Pflomm for Shen Board of Education on May 18.

Thank you,

Stacey Pflomm

Dear Editor,

I am writing this letter in support of Kara Tubbs who is running for a seat on the Shenendehowa School Board. I met Kara through the Arongen Elementary School PTA and have known her for four years.

Kara has had a long-standing commitment to public service within education. As a member of the Arongen Elementary School PTA, Kara has chaired the Honorary Life Awards Committee and served as the membership chairperson. These committees focus primarily on garnering parent support and engagement as well as recognizing and appreciating outstanding community members for their service.  Outside of her leadership roles, Kara has assisted with fundraising, collected food donations for the Bountiful Backpack program, and always stepped up to help whenever the PTA needed additional volunteers

Kara collaborates and engages with community members. Her dedication to improving the educational experience for all students is authentic and heartfelt. I am convinced that if given the opportunity to serve at the district level she would bring her unwavering commitment to public service, collaborative leadership approach, and passion for ensuring the educational success of all Shenendehowa students.

Laura Steele

Dear Editor and Shenendehowa Community,

I would like to express my sincere and wholehearted support for Kara Tubbs in her endeavor to join the Shenendehowa School Board. I have had the privilege of knowing Kara for over ten years and can say she is one of the sharpest and most ethical people I have ever encountered. 

Kara and I first met as members of The Junior League of Albany (JLA), a women’s civic leadership organization that is committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action of trained volunteers. Kara and I served on the JLA board of directors together where we were tasked with governing the entirely volunteer-lead organization, with a now over 100 year history. Kara always had a strong voice yet worked toward consensus to ensure the right thing was done, particularly in terms of fiscal oversight of the organization, member engagement and community partnerships. 

I’m a nearly life-long resident of the Shenendehowa community, currently living in Halfmoon with my husband and two young sons, who will attend Shen. My family moved to Clifton Park in 1990 and I was a Shen student from kindergarten through my graduation in 2004.

During those years, many of the expansion projects for the district’s middle and high schools were underway. Being a student that experienced lots of change year after year as both students and teachers were shifted from one building to another to accommodate the large construction projects on campus, I can now look back and recognize how important it is for the school board to have a clear vision and path for students to achieve success.

Kara is a person that can see through the challenges of today’s students, look for opportunities, and arrive at solutions that are not only practical but highly effective. It is deeply important to me as a parent and resident of the Shen community that strong leaders, such as Kara, are elected to our school board. 

My mother, who still resides in Clifton Park, is a retired teacher with more than 30 years experience of in-classroom teaching across different grade levels and subjects. I am fortunate to have heard her perspective over the years on public education and what it takes to deliver an experience that will encourage all students to develop into their best selves. She and I are proud to support Kara and encourage you to vote for her, too. 

Warmly,

Caitlin Montalvo

Dear Editor,

Three months ago, I was appointed to the Shenendehowa Board of Education to fill one of two unexpected vacancies. I am writing to you seeking your support in my bid to be elected to continue the great honor of serving the great Shenendehowa students and community.

My time on the Board has been extremely rewarding and exciting. As a group we have approved programs and policies with the belief that each student can reach their full potential. I have seen how seven individuals with diverse backgrounds and skill sets can come together through their common love for public service and belief in public education to deliver results for the students in our district.

This past year has challenged our district in ways never imagined and we have not only survived but have thrived. Shen has been one of the few districts in this area that opened to students with in-person learning this fall and remained open the whole school year while also providing virtual and hybrid options for students. 

Preparing this year’s budget has also not been without challenges but despite those challenges, the proposed budget keeps taxes low while maintaining the high quality of educational and extracurricular programs that is the expectation for Shenendehowa.

My wife Maggie and I live in the district with our three daughters; a fifth grader and a second grader at Tesago Elementary School.  Our third daughter will enter kindergarten in 2022.

I have a BA in Economics from the College of the Holy Cross and an MBA from Clark University. I have worked as a management consultant at Public Consulting Group, LLC for the last 15 years, serving public sector health, human services, and education entities at the state and local levels. I am currently an Associate Manager, responsible for managing multiple client relationships and staff along with our Albany office.

Throughout my professional career I have helped my clients to navigate the complex world of federal and state regulatory and financial issues to design and implement policies and programs that are financially sustainable while providing services for the beneficiaries most in need of them.

As a member of the Shenendehowa community, I have actively supported the Tesago PTA along with various youth organizations like Miss Shen Softball, where I have served as a coach for both recreational and travel teams over the last six years and the Clifton Park Youth Soccer Club.

As a member of the Board, I will bring my expertise in state and federal regulations and finances to support the district in assessing the impacts of changes in regulations and in discussions on responding to those changes.

I understand the importance of engaging stakeholders as part of that response to make sure that all perspectives are considered prior to arriving at a final recommendation. I will be receptive and responsive to our community and will be transparent while engaging in open dialogue with students, teachers, all district staff, and community members, whose voices must be considered in our decisions. I will also bring the perspective of a parent with children in the elementary school and soon, the middle school levels of our system, understanding the things that have been successful and those that have presented challenges at those levels.

I believe my experience helping public sector organizations navigate the challenging federal and state regulatory and financial landscape will help to guide the district as we continue responding to the challenges of the COVID pandemic. I also believe my ability to engage all members of our district and community in a meaningful way to help inform decision making is a core competency in ensuring the direction of our district aligns with the needs of our community. 

I am committed to working on behalf of our 10,000 students and the entire Shenendehowa community to ensure that Shenendehowa fulfills its mission to be leaders for learning while remaining fiscally responsible and I hope to have your support on May 18.

I also encourage everyone to vote “Yes” for the three propositions on this year’s ballot – the 2021-2022 school year budget, the bus purchase proposition, and the capital project proposition.

Thank You,

Joe Weber

My name is Tom Templeton, and I’m running for the Shenendehowa Board of Education. As a proud Shen alumnus – married to a Shen alumna – I am ecstatic for the opportunity to give back to the district that’s given so much – through top-flight instruction, sports, theatre and music – to my family and me.

We have two young children who will attend Skano in the not-too-distant future, but for the time being, I believe that not having kids currently attending Shen affords me a fresh perspective, an objectivity, that none of my esteemed opponents can claim at present.

I have spent the last decade working with or on behalf of children and families. In multiple roles, I have led and coordinated efforts to help improve mental wellness, reduce the impact of trauma, and prevent suicide. As part of those efforts I needed to bring relevant stakeholders – from senior-level state policymakers to public school teachers – to the table to appropriately communicate their interests and ensure their contributions and concerns were validated. I believe I can be of similar value on the Shen board.

It strikes me, and I’m sure many of you, that a record number nine candidates running for the board means there are more and more folks who care so deeply about the Shen community that they want to commit themselves to this critical role. I think that’s remarkable. I also wonder whether it means there is momentum building toward a collective sea-change of sorts. I, for one, hope so.

It’s no secret that we’ve faced an unprecedented-in-our-lifetime crisis over the past year plus. In addition to its serious and deadly impact, the COVID pandemic has made it extraordinarily difficult to plan as in years past. Thanks to district leadership, the board of education, and the tireless efforts of educators and frontline school personnel, Shen has stayed healthier than many local districts. Because physical safety has improved and vaccinations have ramped up, we’re certainly headed in the right direction. But we face another looming challenge to address the significant socioemotional consequences from the pandemic, which will require targeted, innovative district-wide strategies to resolve. Some of those strategies might include implementing broad screening processes, offering same-day counseling appointments, and providing referrals to outpatient care if necessary.

I also think we need to expand the scope of how we address diversity and inclusivity. Given the rightful nationwide attention to racial justice in recent times, I believe we can strengthen our efforts to explicitly promote diversity and inclusivity here at Shen, including examining personnel recruiting and hiring protocols, and possibly augmenting curricula to include more opportunities for multicultural awareness.

In closing, I’d like to thank both the Shenendehowa Teachers Association and CSEA for their endorsements of my candidacy. If elected to the board I plan to ensure that – for my part – all stakeholders’ voices aren’t just listened to but truly heard. It would be my privilege to join the Shenendehowa Board of Education, to be part of yet another winning team at my cherished alma mater.

Thanks for your consideration,

Tom Templeton

Dear Editor,

I am writing to express my full support for Joe Weber as he would be a great fit for Shenendehowa Board of Education. I have known Joe for over three years as our children attend the same school and have been teammates through the Shenendehowa Recreational Sports programs.

Joe is a highly ambitious person in work, as part of his family and within community programs. His ability to perform at a high level while balancing all of these commitments is very humbling. Even in the middle of his packed scheduled, he is always smiling and willing to have a conversation where he is attentive and engaging. Joe is the type of person that can relate to anyone and make them feel comfortable regardless of the topic or setting.

The attributes mentioned above, as well as Joe’s calm temperament, would be a great addition to the Board of Education. He shows he can balance many things competing for attention and provide high quality insight and understanding of the many issues that the Board of Education faces.

In my conversations with him, he always has a good pulse of what is happening in the community, the various viewpoints from stakeholders and is always thinking of potential solutions that are both reasonable and equitable.

Joe has shown a passion for making the community better and ensuring the Shenendehowa CSD continues to provide a high quality education for all children.

As you can see, I am confident and have no hesitations that Joe would be an invaluable member of the Board of Education.

Thank you,

Kellen Roberts

Shen Parent and community member

Dear Editor,

The Board of Education elections and school budget vote will take place on May 18 and I encourage everyone to get out and vote. When casting your votes for the three Board of Education seats, please consider supporting Joe Weber!. 

 Joe is someone you see out in the community working to make sure our youth are getting the support they need.    He has volunteered his time with Tesago Elementary PTA getting to know the families and the wonderful people working for our district.  Joe has also coached Miss Shen Softball for his daughters’ teams for many years. I have great respect for people that volunteer their time, energy and knowledge as a Board member. 

Joe was appointed to the Board to fill one of the two vacancies in early 2021.  I was so happy to hear of Joe's appointment.  I knew he would be a great asset to the Board.  Joe is approachable and with three young daughters he is working hard for today and future years. The Board will benefit from having a member with pre-school, elementary and middle school age children.  The COVID pandemic has been difficult for our community and he has chosen to step up as a leader. 

I have volunteered in the Shenendehowa community for 14 years.   There are many people that volunteer but few willing to give the time necessary to be a Board Member. Joe is one of the rare few who are willing and wants to do it for the right reasons.  I am happy to support Joe Weber for Shenendehowa School Board and hope you will too!

Thank you,

Jen Landers

Dear Editor:

I have known Joseph Weber and his family through Miss Shen softball for four years. They are the type of people who are always friendly, always positive, and always put others first.

I have had the pleasure of coaching their middle daughter and she is a complete reflection of her parents. That kid who is nice to everyone. That kid that everyone wants to be friends with. And that kid with the self-awareness to know this and make sure everyone is included. Just like her father.

When Joe won the interim board seat, he immediately reached out to me for my input from a teacher's perspective. His number one priority is what can he do as a board member to make sure every child receives a quality education.

As a teacher, it is appreciated that he completely understands that we are the driving force in providing that education. Teaching is more than helping learn academic skills. Teachers also nurture their students, create a positive environment for their students, and most importantly listen to their students and look for signs of emotional or physical trouble. Joe understands this.

Living and teaching in the Shenendehowa community, I am happy to know that he will serve on the Board of Education as an advocate for the academic, social, and emotional needs of all children. On May 18th, my family will be voting for Joseph Weber for the Shenendehowa Board of Education.

Bryan Sawyer

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