On May 17, 2022, district residents will be voting on the election of 3 Board members as the terms of Matthew Nelson, Elizabeth Phillips and Jeffrey Ouellette are expiring on June 30, 2022.
Seven people have submitted petitions to run for the Board of Education. These candidates have provided the following biographical statements for the voters. The names of the candidates will be listed on the ballot in the same order in which they appear on this page.
For 26 years I was an administrator in the Ichabod Crane Central School District. I held a number of positions, beginning my career as the Assistant Principal/Athletic Director and retiring as the High School Principal in 2014. During this time, I was involved in all aspects of program planning, budgeting, and hiring of professional staff. I attended Board of Education meetings as a part of my job and worked closely with my colleagues at all levels to deliver the outstanding educational program the community deserves.
Since my retirement I have continued to work in education, supervising student teachers as an adjunct faculty member for SUNY Oneonta. I have also served as Stuyvesant councilman and as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and the Columbia Friends of the Electric Trail. Both my children are Ichabod graduates and I believe I am well-connected to the citizens of our district.
If elected, I could share a lifetime of experience about the operation of public schools. I come with no personal agenda beyond a deep belief in public education and a desire to collaborate with board members, district administrators, teachers, students, and taxpayers to ensure that our students receive an excellent, well-rounded education.
As a retired 26-year resident of Kinderhook, I am running for the ICC Board of Education, because I believe our community is hurting. The impact of differing opinions about the education of our students and the morale of teachers, administrators, staff, and the community concerns me.
My career in education includes: K-12 teacher, gifted education specialist, educational psychologist/counselor in private practice, consultant, and presenter nationally and internationally on educational issues. Topics included: perfectionism, anxiety, underachievement, diverse student needs, curriculum differentiation, and social and emotional issues of students, particularly those with disabilities. I understand the importance of K-12 programming and curricula that provide varying services for the abilities and talents of all students, especially those with special needs. I have experience in rural, urban, suburban, public and private schools, international schools, and with homeschooling families.
It is critical to acknowledge what is working well in the district and what can be improved, all within the boundaries of state mandates and fiscal constraints. I support data-driven policies that determine the appropriate education for each student.
I believe my varied educational experiences and expertise will bring a unique perspective to the ICC School District.
I am thankful to the ICC School Community for the opportunity you have afforded me the last six years. It has been my honor to serve as a member of your Board of Education. Every day, I am reminded of how great our school community is, and I cherish the opportunity I have to contribute to our students’ successes through the continued growth and improvement of our schools. Over the past few years our District has accomplished so much, made great strides towards our mission and goals, and overcome many challenges. Our future is bright, but our work remains far from complete.
It is essential we celebrate our accomplishments, but at the same time we must see our challenges as opportunities. We must continue working together to truly fulfill our charge of preparing our students to become successful and contributing members of society in our ever-changing world.
As a parent of three ICC students, and a strong advocate for public education, I can think of no better way to give back and help shape the future of this great institution and those who attend it than through continued board service. I would be honored to have the support of the community to serve another term on the Board, and humbly ask for your vote on May 17th.
James “Jim” Antalek
Jim lives in Valatie with his wife, Cheryl and their 2 children. Jim and his wife are both graduates of Ichabod Crane Central Schools. Their oldest child graduated from Ichabod Crane in 2020 and their other is a freshman and very active within the district.
Jim is active in the community. He enjoys volunteering to coach basketball for the Kinderhook Basketball Association and the assistant coach for the Ichabod Crane JV Basketball when needed. Jim is a strong supporter of the district and encourages open communication with the district residents. Jim believes that all students should have as many opportunities as possible to take different classes and become well rounded. Jim is a strong supporter of ICC athletics and TEMPO.
Jim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from RPI and a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a facilities manager at GlaxoSmithKlein.
Jim’s hobbies include playing golf, basketball and spending time with his family.
I am a resident of Valatie, where I live with my husband and our five children, who all attend Ichabod Crane grades K-9. I am an alumna of the Ichabod Crane Class of 1999. While attending Ichabod Crane, I participated in many sports and extra-curricular activities. As a junior (17), I enlisted in the Army National Guard and served in New York and South Carolina.
I have degrees from SUNY Cobleskill and the University of Phoenix in Early Childhood Education and Human Services Management. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, I spent many years in early childhood classrooms, accepting roles as Preschool Aide, Head Teacher, School Director, and School Board member. I also have a background in Children’s Mental Health and Human Services.
I am running on a platform of accountability and scholastic achievement, specifically in reading and math. As a student who graduated high school and college with an IEP, I know the struggle and barriers that special education students face. With special needs students of my own, I am committed to advocating for a curriculum that will ensure that every student who graduates from Ichabod Crane is proficient in reading and math. I am also committed to serving the students, parents, teachers, and tax payers of our community.
As my three years as a member of the Ichabod Crane Central School BOE comes to a close, I can truly say it has been an honor to serve in this capacity. As a proud Ichabod Crane graduate with two children of my own now in the Primary School, I have never felt more compelled to continue the great work that has been happening in our district. It goes without saying that the last few years have had their share of challenges, but they have also allowed for wonderful opportunities and great successes.
I am committed to this area and the Ichabod Crane School District, and believe it is important that we engage in big picture decision making for taxpayers, while maintaining and growing the excellent school district that we currently have. It is not only the children in our area, but all community members who benefit from a premiere school district.
For the past 8 years I’ve lived in the town of Kinderhook with my now wife and lifelong resident of Kinderhook Stefanie Martino Driscoll. My wife and I have 2 amazing children, Elliot who is 3 years old and Austin who was just born this past January. We’re also loving pet parents of 3 dogs (Macey, Bodie, Minnie) and 3 cats (Stella, Charlie, Annie). I grew up in East Greenbush and graduated Columbia High School in 1999 and then continued to Hudson Valley Community College with a major in Criminal Justice. At the age of 17 I enlisted in the United States Army Reserve. I am grateful to have been able to travel all over the country, serve in Iraq in 2003-2004, and meet some amazing people along the way. For nearly the past 20 years I’ve been self employed, owning a General Contracting Business and a sports and firearms training company. My wife has a Masters Degree in Adolescent Education (Grades 7-12) and is currently the Director of Academics at an independently operated public school where she was previously a Math teacher for 9 years.
If I were to be elected to Ichabod School Board I look forward to applying my sense of logical, objective, and critical thinking to work towards the goal of creating the most successful educational and social atmosphere possible for our students and community. If I had to list issues that are important to me personally it would include supporting the following; the mental health and well-being of our students, S.T.E.M. and Trades programs, investing in our virtual learning and teaching capabilities, after school intramural, and extracurricular programs, resources for our students with special needs, as well as for the unfinished learning due to the pandemic. I’d like to help create proactive solutions for other possible learning disruptions, and make sure that we’re using our resources and budget efficiently. It would be my privilege to work with and hear from all who are involved, passionate, and have concerns with the Ichabod School District. For any other information or questions please visit our Facebook page “Families for Ichabod”.