First-term member will not run again

The Beacon school board will have two open seats to fill in the spring after Board Member Yunice Heath announced this week that she does not plan to run for re-election after completing her first, three-year term. 

The seats held by Heath and Flora Stadler, along with a third seat that has been vacant since John Galloway Jr. resigned last year, will be on the ballot on May 21, along with the district’s 2024-25 budget. The candidate with the most votes will join the board immediately to fill Galloway’s seat and serve a three-year term. The other two winners will begin their terms on July 1.

Stadler said on Thursday (Feb. 8) that she plans to run for a third term.

The school board has been plagued by turnover in recent years, with five members resigning since 2020. In at least two of those cases — Michael Rutkoske in 2020 and Antony Tseng last year — outside work commitments played a role. 

Statewide, about half of school board members serve less than six years, according to the most recent data compiled by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA). About a quarter serve 6 to 10 years and a quarter 10 or more. 

While Beacon school board members have sporadically discussed shrinking the board, for a district of its size nine is “about the right number,” said Al Marlin, a NYSSBA spokesperson. “It is hard work. It takes a lot of time, and outside of the major cities — Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse — these are unpaid positions.”

Nominating petitions for candidates running for the Beacon school board are due May 1. 

Behind The Story

Type: News

News: Based on facts, either observed and verified directly by the reporter, or reported and verified from knowledgeable sources.

Simms has covered Beacon for The Current since 2015. He studied journalism at Appalachian State University and has reported for newspapers in North Carolina and Maryland. Location: Beacon. Languages: English. Area of expertise: Beacon politics

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