2024 Board of Education Election

On Tuesday, May 21, 2024, Residents of the Schodack Central School District will vote for three open seats on the Schodack Board of Education and a fourth vacant seat that is currently open. The three open seats are each for a 3-year term (July 1, 2024-June 30, 2027) and the fourth vacant seat is for an approximately 1-year term (May 21, 2024-June 30, 2025). The vacant seat will be filled by the candidate with the fourth-highest number of votes. Candidate names and a statement from each are available here.

Voters will also decide whether to approve a proposed 2024-2025 School Year Budget. See the district’s budget page for more information on the budget, voting locations, early voting and absentee/military ballots.

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.

Kurt Maier, Vice President

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 helping guide the District toward its vision of success through learning, planning, and hard work.

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. 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 its 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 master’s 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 from Maple Hill in 1999; 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.

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. It is an honor to advocate for ALL our children and the community.

Blake Kush

I’m Blake Kush and I am honored to represent you on the Schodack Board of Education. District residents since 2011, my wife Danielle and I chose to live here because of the intimate community and quality of public education offered. Together, we are raising two future glass ceiling breaking daughters who are proud to wear the Wildcat red and blue. Committed to serving the underserved, I have fifteen years of professional experience running training and economic development programs for low-income families and victims of crime in both the non-profit sector and state government. I also have a master’s degree in social work, own a small business, and have the title of “coach” for many of your kiddos in our youth soccer and softball leagues. I will be an advocate for all our children. A better individual makes a better family. A better family makes a better community.

Mary Yurista

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.

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.