Three candidates vie for three seats on the School Board

On May 21, voters will elect three candidates to three seats on the Schalmont Board of Education. The positions carry three-year terms of office that would begin July 1, 2019. Elections are “at large,” which means that candidates do not run for a specific seat and the three with the most votes will be elected. There are three candidates, in the order they will appear on the ballot, are: John DiCocco, Kyrish Iyer, and Jean Hanson.

Read more about the candidates below:

John DiCocco

Headshot John DiCoccoJohn DiCocco is serving his second term on the Schalmont Board of Education. He is a contract manager at General Electric. For the past four years, he has served on the district’s Budget Advisory Committee. He also previously served as a Cub Scout pack master. After graduating from Draper High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He and his wife, Brenda, have three children currently attending Schalmont schools.

Kyrish Iyer

What is something about this district that you are proud of? Is there something about this district that you think could be improved? What and why?

Community – we have a diverse demographic spanning a large geographical area, and we all (Parents, Teachers, Administration) are all working together as a community for our children.
That’s what I’m hoping to find out with an opportunity on the Board – where we can improve.  I’m a firm believer in continuous self-improvement, so our job is never done.

What positive characteristics/assets would you bring to the BOE, and conversely, what would be your personal challenges working toward consensus with the board?

I would like to bring input – perhaps even a different perspective.  I have two young children who will both be coming up through the Schools and will be directly impacted by the Board’s decisions; I would like to be involved to help shape their future.

It’s challenging to appease the goals, wants, desires while staying within budget; I’m sure each member of the Board has dealt with this burden; I hope I can be a positive addition without causing too many impediments.

Each spring, school boards face the challenge of creating a school budget proposal that enhances educational opportunities for students while being responsive to taxpayers’ concerns. As a board member, how would you balance the needs of these groups?

This one is not easy, and if anyone tells you otherwise, they would be lying! Everything must be discussed, as unilateral decisions are unwarranted, and I’m sure we’ll need to find ways to get creative.  Our goal is to try our best to make strategic decisions based on our district’s needs and capabilities.

Please explain why you decided to run or rerun for a seat on the Schalmont BOE.

To help where I can, to provide a different perspective when it is called for, to ultimately improve/sustain this district, for us and our children. 

Jean C. Hanson

What is something about this District that you are proud of?  Is there something about this District you think could be improved?  What and Why?

I am proud of the direction our District is taking regarding Profile of a Graduate, attempting to modify the way students are taught/how they gain the skills necessary to become21st Century learners and be successful after graduation.

I am also proud of the opportunities that Makerspace has given to our District and its students.

As we are a small district, which is both a pro and a con, we continue to struggle with the ability/inability to offer as many academic and athletic programs and opportunities to our students compared to larger districts.

What positive characteristics/assets would you bring to the BOE, and conversely, what would be your personal challenges working toward consensus with the Board?

I possess the history of the district, as I am a life-long resident and graduated from Schalmont, and have previously served on the Board for three years. I also come from a family of educators who work in many districts in the area, therefore, I am exposed to many different educational philosophies, which provides me with several unique lenses to view the field of education.

I have been able to work with the Board these past three years and don’t anticipate not being able to work through any differences that may occur.

 Each spring, school boards face the challenge of creating a school budget proposal that enhances educational opportunities for students while being responsive to taxpayers’ concerns.  As a Board Member, how would you balance the needs of these groups?

What we are currently doing, and have been doing, during my tenure on the Board – try to offer as much as possible while raising taxes as little as possible.

Please explain why you decided to run or rerun for a seat on the Schalmont BOE.

I have enjoyed serving these past three years and would like to continue to serve. I enjoy being a part of something that will make a difference.  I also feel I am still learning and would like the opportunity to continue to do so.