2023 Board of Education Election

On Tuesday, May 16, 2023, residents of the Schodack Central School District will vote for three (3) seats opening on the Schodack Board of Education. Each seat is for a 3-year term (July 1, 2023-June 30, 2026). Voters will also decide whether to approve a proposed budget for the 2023-2024 School Year. See the district’s budget page for more information on the budget, where to vote and absentee/military ballots.

2023 Board of Education Candidates

There will be a Meet the Candidates event on Thursday, May 4, 2023, during the board of education workshop meeting starting at 6:00 PM. The names of candidates running for the board are listed below in the order they will appear on the ballot. See statements from the candidates here.

  • Blake Kush
  • Mary Yurista
  • Shelley Palmer
  • Ashley Palmer
Running for the Board of Education

Anyone planning to run for the board of education must return a nominating petition with the required signatures to the Schodack District Office no later than 5:00 PM on Monday, April 17, 2023. If you would like a nominating petition, please contact District Clerk Michele Reickert by email (mreickert@schodack.k12.ny.us) or phone (518-732-2297).

All individuals interested in running for the board of education should review NYSSBA’s Running for the School Board brochure for a thorough understanding of board member requirements and responsibilities.

Board of Education Members

Shelley Palmer, President

In 2014, my husband, Zac, and I relocated our family, Vivienne and Andrew (Class of 2028), from Massachusetts to New York.  We moved to Schodack because we appreciated the sense of community and quality education that the town offers. As a member of the Board, I am dedicated to the continuous improvement of the school district so the students of our community will be well prepared for the challenges of the future.  I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Seton Hall University and a Master’s degree in Forensic Science from the University of New Haven. I have 10+ years of experience in education. I currently work for the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services. I am actively involved in community activities including: Girl Scouts, youth sports, and church activities.

Mary Yurista, Vice President

I’ve had the privilege to serve the community for 6 years during which we undertook the transformation of our facilities into a 21st-century learning environment. I serve on the Audit Committee and with the support of the Schodack BOE, I serve on the Questar III Board. Having worked in the insurance industry in various technical capacities leading and participating in projects that have brought innovation and improvement to business processes, I believe the private sector offers beneficial guidance and progressive ideas that will allow us to sustain and improve the quality of education and everyday life for all. We have raised three Maple Hill graduates. As a parent and grandparent, I want the same success for every student that my children have been able to enjoy. As a professional, I hope to be able to assist and meet the challenges we face in our schools to facilitate the future success of students in this new uncertain environment and economy.

Angela Beber

My husband Jay and our sons, Christian (class of 2019) and Joe (class of 2020) have lived in Schodack for 20 years. As a family we are committed to improving the community we live in. Jay and Joe both take pride in their work for the district. This year I left my 15 year career at Schodack CSD to work for Questar III, which has allowed me to further my involvement in public education. We have always been active participants in the schools, local athletics and civic organizations, most recently with Kiwanis. I am a strong advocate for public education and providing equal access for all. We are faced with a new set of challenges as a community to provide our children with so much more than pencils and books. We have to work to balance the needs of the students while also supporting the faculty and staff. I look forward to being given the opportunity to work with the community and district to create and support programs for all.

Tylea Gebbie

My husband and I settled in Schodack just over 9 years ago because of it’s tight-knit community and strong school district. We have 3 children, a second and sixth grader at Castleton Elementary School, and an eighth grader at Maple Hill Middle School. I received my masters in Educational Psychology and my Certificate of Advanced Studies in School Psychology from SUNY Albany. I am a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and have been practicing for the last 11 years in the New Lebanon Central School District. I value public education, and I believe strongly in a whole-child approach to education. Academic rigor, social emotional learning, mental health supports, enrichment opportunities within and outside the classroom, and family and community involvement are important factors in a child’s education. The Schodack Central School District works hard to provide each of these opportunities, and more, and I hope to continue this work as a voice for our students, teachers, families, and community members.

Sherri Gibson

I grew up in the district graduating Maple Hill in 1999; and then received my Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University. I currently work full time at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.  My husband, Adam, and I are raising our family in Schodack in order to expose our children (Tyler, 5th grade; Lexi, 4th grade; and Brady, 3rd grade) to the high-quality education and strong sense of community for which the district is known. I am actively involved in the community as a volunteer for youth athletics, church functions, and girl scouts.  As a member of the school board, I strive to improve the overall quality of education that the district provides.

Dan Grandinetti

It has been my privilege to represent our community on the Board of Education for the past six years. My wife (Karen) and I are raising three kids in the community and district (Megan 21, Michael 18 and Maya 8). I have spent (30 years) my entire professional career in the field of “Youth Development”. I remain committed/passionate in this field and strive to make a difference in the lives of our children. The “Community” is the School District and our School District is the “Community”. It is an honor to serve our District and Community for another three years on the Board of Education.

Marion Gurdineer-Spar

My husband, Andre, and I moved to the area eight years ago. We have five children; Haylee (11), Ayva (10), Dylan (8), Aubrey (7) and Payton (4). Always working together as a family, we became very active and involved in various activities and functions throughout the community. Our family loves and appreciates giving and supporting in any capacity and we have been blessed with the opportunity to extend our appreciation by becoming a foster/adoptive family. I have volunteered to coach several youth athletic teams over the years. I obtained my Master’s degree at The College of Saint Rose; I hold a certification in School Psychology; have worked with students grades PK-12; and was recently working as a school psychologist on a preschool evaluation team. I am a very enthusiastic individual with a great sense of humor. I am a firm believer that life is what you make it and love helping others and making every day a positive one! I feel that it is important not just to be actively involved for the sake of my children, but also to show and teach them that being an active and productive individual is what will guide them successfully through life. Education has such a great impact on all children in many ways and being a part of making that experience a positive and meaningful one is my goal. If afforded the opportunity to serve on the board, it would be an honor to advocate for ALL our children and the community.

Kurt Maier

My wife Regina and I have lived in Schodack for 20 years. We have two children; Makaila, who is a 2020 graduate, and Ethan, who is a current high school student set to graduate in 2023. After high school, I joined the Marine Corps, serving proudly until 1996. I am currently employed as a Cost of Care Director for Anthem, where I utilize my Lean Six Sigma and analytical skills to identify and deploy process improvements to achieve cost reductions. My experience as a community member includes volunteering in the Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Kiwanis, the PTO, and various other community events. After many years of supporting our youth, I’ve gained a strong perspective of the District and what it has to offer our children and the community. As a Board member, I am committed to help guide the District towards its vision of success through learning, planning, and hard work.

Ashley Palmer

In 2012 my husband, James, and I moved to the Schodack School District. We chose Schodack for the small tight knit community it is known for and found it to be true. We have 3 children, James (LSI ’20), Abigail (6th grade), and Brody (1st Grade). I represent the Greenbush Soccer Club as the rec registrar. My role is to organize each session that continuously carries over 600 players each season. Professionally, I have been in the insurance industry for 16 years in asset protection. My strength in decision making and management has helped ensure families and businesses are position to meet their goals. I believe in the foundation of our district to do all we can to help all our students succeed, that is my objective. I would be honored to advocate on behalf of all children in our district.

About the Board of Education

The Board of Education consists of nine elected members who are charged with setting the goals and establishing the policies to create a successful school district for our community’s children. Board members are unpaid volunteers serving three-year terms.

Members of the board adopt the annual budget and make decisions on a range of educational concerns. They are not responsible for the day-to-day operations of Schodack’s schools. Parents are encouraged to contact the building principal or appropriate administrator to address specific school concerns. If the issue remains unresolved, please contact the school superintendent.

The community is encouraged to attend meetings to learn about the educational issues the Board is considering. We value your interest and encourage you to attend and voice any questions or concerns you may have about our schools.