At its meeting on July 8, the Board of Education elected Patricia Lanotte as
board president and Debra Gordon as vice president.
New Board members David Apkarian and Rosemarie Perez Jaquith were also sworn in that evening, which served as the Board's annual organizational meeting.
"I appreciate the support of my fellow Board members, and I look forward to working with all of them," Board President Lanotte said. "The Board is committed to, and energized about, working as a team to address our challenges and capitalize on opportunities to move forward. We will do this through decisions that are anchored in our mission and what is best for students and our community."
The Board officers reinforced the three major priorities that the Board committed to when Interim Superintendent John Yagielski came to the district in the spring: Rebuild community confidence in district leadership; Address district finances with a focus on long-range planning; and set the stage for attracting highly qualified candidates for the superintendent position.
Lanotte said that a major priority is fostering a two-way conversation with all stakeholders in the community. She said this entails both active and effective listening, as well as clearly articulating the goals and values that are driving Board of Education decisions.
In the coming year, the Board will also be undertaking the process of selecting the district's next superintendent, including engaging the community in that process.
The Board officers emphasized the importance of remaining open to new ideas and approaches that can help strengthen the district. Two recent examples include the new distance learning courses being implemented at Niskayuna High School and the International Scholars Program, which will bring students from across the globe, and new revenue, to Niskayuna in the coming year.
"As a Board of Education, we are stewards of a long-standing tradition of excellence in Niskayuna," said Vice President Gordon. "I'm proud to be part of the leadership team that has the responsibility of carrying this tradition forward. I firmly believe that the strength of our district is in the support of our community, the talent and dedication of our faculty and staff, and the hard work and involvement of our students and their families. I look forward to working with everyone in the year ahead to not just preserve this tradition of excellence, but to build on it."