Board Candidates’ Qualifications and Expectations
In order to qualify to run for a seat on the BH-BL Board of Education, state law requires you meet the following criteria:
- Must be able to read and write
- Must be a qualified voter of the district:
- You are a citizen of the United States
- You are at least 18 years of age
- You are not adjudged by a Court to be mentally incompetent
- You are not a convicted felon (Election Law 2012, Section 5-106)
- Must be and have been a resident of the BH-BL Central School District for a continuous and uninterrupted period of at least one year immediately before the election.
- Must live in the BH-BL Central School District.
- Cannot be employed by the BH-BL district or live in the same household with a family member who is also a member of the same school board.
All BH-BL school board members serve at large for no pay. The candidates who receive the highest number of votes on school budget day will be elected to three-year terms of office.
Requirements of School Board Members
The seven members of the BH-BL board attend meetings in the evenings twice a month during the school year, plus some additional evenings (particularly during budget season) and typically once a month in the summer.
They also attend training sessions held by the NYS School Board Association, liaise with the various BH-BL PTAs, and volunteer to work on other initiatives and with other groups as needed throughout the year.
The NYS School Board Association states: “As with any important role, school board service brings a steep learning curve. In fact, it will likely take you several years to fully comprehend the role of an effective board member.”
Newly elected board members will need to begin with some basic training. New York State law requires new school board members to take mandatory training within their first year of service. This training includes the essentials of school board governance and a minimum of six hours in fiscal oversight, accountability and fiduciary responsibilities of a school board member. Follow this link to learn more about the state-mandated training classes.
While you’re learning about your new role, you’ll also want to brush up on New York State’s Open Meetings Law, which governs school board meetings and the use of executive sessions. Follow this link to download a PDF of NYSSBA’s “School District Obligations Under the Opening Meeting Law: Fact and Fiction.”
Are you interested in running for the board?
If you are interested in running for the BH-BL Board of Education, qualified residents (see above) may pick up candidate nominating petitions from the Communications Office located in the District Office/Hostetter Leadership Center at BH-BL HIgh School, 88 Lakehill Road, on regular business days between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Additionally, the district’s annual budget newsletter includes information about board candidates, including your full name, a brief biography, a photo, and a position statement. In order to ensure this information is included in the newsletter candidates will receive a Board Candidacy Packet that includes a biography form for candidates to complete, information about how to submit a photo for the budget newsletter or how to arrange for one to be taken by a district employee, and samples of previous candidates’ position statements, and information from NYSSBA. Candidates are asked to submit a 400-word position statement that highlights why they want to run for the BH-BL Board of Education. The statements and photos must be submitted in electronic format to the District’s Communications Specialist Tara Mitchell.
Residents with additional questions about running for the board are welcome to call or email Tara Mitchell at 399-9141, ext. 85041.
Former Board Members & Election Results
- 2022-23: President Lisa Morse, Vice President Jennifer Longtin, Don Marshall, David Mitchell, Lakshmi Nagarajan, David Versocki and Patrick Ziegler
- 2021-22: President David Versocki, Vice President Lisa Morse, John Blowers, Jennifer Longtin, Don Marshall, Lakshmi Nagarajan, and Patrick Ziegler.
- 2020-21: President Don Marshall, Vice President David Versocki, John Blowers, Jennifer Longtin, Lisa Morse, Lakshmi Nagarajan and Patrick Ziegler
- 2019-20: President Patrick Ziegler, Vice President Don Marshall, John Blowers, Jennifer Longtin, Lisa Morse, Peter Sawyer and David Versocki
- 2018-19: President John Blowers, Vice President Patrick Ziegler, Jennifer Longtin, Don Marshall, Lisa Morse, Peter Sawyer and David Versocki
- 2017-18: President Jennifer Longtin, Vice President John Blowers, Jennifer Bradt, Don Marshall, James Maughan, Peter Sawyer and Patrick Ziegler
- 2016-17: President Peter Sawyer, Vice President Jennifer Longtin, John Blowers, Jennifer Bradt, Will Farmer, James Maughan and Patrick Ziegler
- 2015-16: President John Blowers, Vice President Peter Sawyer, Jennifer Bradt, Will Farmer, Jennifer Longtin, James Maughan and Lee-Ann Mertzlufft
- 2014-15: President James Maughan, Vice President John Blowers, Jennifer Bradt, Will Farmer, Jennifer Longtin, Lee-Ann Mertzlufft and Peter Sawyer
- 2013-14: President Lee-Ann Mertzlufft, Vice President James Maughan John Blowers, Elizabeth Herkenham, Patre Kuziak, Will Farmer and Joe Pericone
- 2012-13: President Elizabeth Herkenham, Vice President Lee-Ann Mertzlufft, John Blowers, Patre Kuziak, Will Farmer, James Maughan and Joe Pericone.