There are eight (8) candidates seeking three (3) open seats on the Board of Education this year. Each carries a new three-year term beginning July 1, 2022. Below, find bios for each candidate (listed in order they will appear on the ballot, which was determined by a random drawing):
Disclaimer: The below biographical information was written by, and submitted by, each individual candidate and was not edited by the District.
“Nicole Gendron and her family have roots in the West Sand Lake community since 1986. Burden Lake is where she first fell in love with the community while learning to swim as a child. She is blessed to call Averill Park her home where she lives with her loving husband, soon to be three-year-old daughter Juliana, daughter Amiyha who is a 5th grader at Miller Hill and her older stepchildren Ashley and Andrew. Nicole holds a Bachelor’s in Art Therapy from Springfield College. Nicole has extensive management experience running a small construction company as well as working for Edward Jones as a Branch Administrator and working as a director in the health care field in Long Term Care. Nicole is committed to the APCSD community and is passionate about running for the BOE because of her two young children and the impact she can make for everyone. Nicole’s extensive professional career and dedication to family make her an obvious choice for the Board of Education. Nicole will fight to ensure that parental rights are factored into policy decisions, there are restraints on government mandate in the area of masking and vaccines and ensure that each individual has the right to choose what is best for themselves and their children. The district needs to focus on core academics, fiscal discipline, and be good stewards of the taxpayers’ money.”
“I have been an Averill Park resident for 12 years with my wife, Jeanne, and our son, Ben. As Ben has progressed through Miller Hill, Algonquin, and now APHS, I have never been disappointed by the quality of his education. I want to ensure that quality remains high, while controlling the associated costs (taxes). I’ve spent my career growing local software companies to ensure our shareholders got a great return on their investments. I have a long track record of managing budgets, projects and people (including teams in the US, China, India, England, Israel, Denmark) to achieve amazing results. I make smart decisions based on data and treat every dollar like it is my own. One of our district goals is “Students will graduate college and career ready.” While many of our students will leave the area to attend college, many still will stay in our community to attend HVCC or work in local industries like construction, food service, mining, or others. I want to make sure that ALL of our students have the skills they need to make good financial and business decisions to be wildly successful. Perhaps most importantly, I have been a registered independent for dozens of years, not tied to either political party. I will work hard to support ALL of our students and families. (more info: WWW.AP-BOE.COM)”
“My name is Jenaliegh Schroeder and I am a former graduate of Averill Park High School who currently resides near Snyder’s Lake. I studied Communication Sciences and Disorders at The College of Saint Rose where I attained my master’s degree to become a speech language pathologist (SLP). I also attained my initial teaching certification as part of my credentials. I went on to work in public schools as an SLP in both Texas and California. I am currently a practicing SLP in the county. I provide in-home speech therapy services which allows me to connect with a diverse range of families. I feel blessed to have made genuine connections with ample community members and foster growth in their children. I have held and attended many Individualized Education Program meetings and advocated for student’s needs. These experiences have afforded me first-hand appreciation for the vital connection between community, educators, and family. The family, and understanding everyone’s unique experiences, is central to effective programs and support. Caregivers, support staff, teachers, and administrators are equally needed and should be equally respected in building a child’s foundation. I hope to affirm the district’s motto of “Every Student, Every Day” through a focus on the fundamentals of education and the core values and principles that foster empathetic students with sound moral positions and the ability to think critically.”
“I am a mother of three children attending Averill Park Schools with my youngest heading to middle school next year. I’m a special education parent and understand the challenges and extra care required for our special needs students. My family background has a long history of helping at-risk youth and we are proud to have multiple teachers named Mrs. McGarry both current and retired. My professional career in risk management provides a unique perspective on preventing loss and protecting financial interests. I’m active in the community supporting our youth in both sports and the arts. I bring all these perspectives to the table when weighing the issues we face as the board in hopes of achieving and maintaining balance. Over the last three years as a member of the Averill Park CSD Board of Education I have been visible, available and open to anyone who has reached out helping connect them with the appropriate channels to address concerns. I have worked tirelessly to promote balance and equality for all students attending Averill Park Schools. If re-elected I will continue to support our most fundamental goal of Every Student Every Day.”
“Darryl Borton currently lives in Wynantskill near Snyders Lake with his wonderful wife Marisa, four children Chase, Rhian, Tegan, and Aiden (2,3,8,15). He holds an MBA in Information Technology Management and has worked for several of the most prestigious companies implementing Intelligent Automation and Artificial Intelligence. Darryl is also an Army combat veteran having spent over 25 months serving in some of the most dangerous combat zones in the world from Fallujah to Baghdad. He is a strong believer in giving back to the community and has spent 8 years coaching baseball as a volunteer at Twin Town Little League. Darryl is also a lifetime member of the Poestenkill VFW. Darryl believes that there is no greater calling than to serve his community and believes that his dedication to our great country, his stellar professional background, and commitment to building our youth makes him a logical choice for the Board of Education. He is a Conservative, Free Speech Absolutist, and he bleeds Red, White, and Blue. Darryl will fight to ensure parents are given maximal input on their children’s education, state mandates are neutralized to the greatest extent possible, and ensure individual free will. When Darryl is elected to the board, you can guarantee he will not authorize money on Socialist policy initiatives that undermine what our grandparents built after they beat Nazi’s in WW2.”
“Samantha is the mother of one very active 2nd grader and one soon-to-be 6th grader at Poestenkill Elementary. Residents of the district for seven years, she and her husband Jeff fight the Averill Park Clay to grow vegetables and make as much maple syrup as possible. Samantha spent 17 years in the maritime industry before settling down, achieving a 500-ton Ocean Master U.S. Coast Guard license. In that time, she served as a deck officer on large sailing vessels with young people and adults engaging in hands-on STEM education, team building and leadership training on the Hudson River, Atlantic Seaboard and around the world (literally). She recently completed the more traditional kind of Master’s, earning an MPA (public administration) degree from SUNY Albany, putting her coursework to good use as administrative staff at a local Early Childhood literacy non-profit and executing sound oversight as a sitting member of the Averill Park School Board. She brings a core belief in the strength and importance of public school education and good governance in which the wide variety of stakeholders – teachers, parents, service staff, administrators and the community – find common purpose and alignment in service of all students.”
WALTER SPALLANE, JR.
“I look forward to serving on the BOE for Averill Park Schools as I am a lifelong resident of the district. I currently reside on Burden Lake Rd in the Town of Nassau with my wife Sharon. I graduated from LaSalle Institute in Troy, class of 83. My wife, our daughter and our siblings all graduated from Averill Park. I am a supporter of parental rights. I believe curriculums such as CRT and ANY type of sexual orientation teaching should be done by parents or guardians if they so choose. These types of topics should NEVER be mandated in schools. Face coverings, vaccinations and alike should also be decided at home and not by a government agency. I am currently serving my 28th year in the law enforcement field, I am a NYS Emergency Medical Technician, Volunteer Firefighter, Fire District Commissioner and serve the Rensselaer County Emergency Medical Corp. I always have and will continue to provide services and assistance to our communities. Including bringing 7 years of hands-on budgeting experience with taxpayer money. We need traditional education, emphasizing on expanding hands-on course offerings and keeping budgets to a minimum as residents are being taxed out of their homes. School taxes being the main concern, especially for our senior citizens. Thank you for your support I look forward to serving our community.”
“My name is Ron Gibson and I am pleased to be a candidate for the Averill Park CSD School Board. I have been a resident of the community for the past 16 years and it has been a fantastic experience for my wife and three children who are all currently students within the district. During my time in the community I have been fortunate to participate and serve in board positions with Twin Town Little League, AP Youth Basketball, Devil Cats Baseball among others. In addition to my local community involvement, I serve as a mentor to high school students as part of the P-TECH program via the Capital Region Chamber, and serve in Advisory Committee positions with the Salvation Army and the Food Pantries for the Capital District. I am running for the board because I want to give back to the community that has given so much to my family. It is important that people have a voice that represents their thoughts and opinions. I am also a person that will address the issues head on to help influence change. APCSD has done a great job of creating a foundation that will position our students for greatness and I would like to work with the current board members to continue to build on that foundation for the future!”