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Board of Education Candidate Statements (2023 election)

On May 16, 2023, district residents will vote on the election of three (3) seats on the Board of Education. Board members with expiring terms are Elaine Berlin, John Chandler and Kelly Firmbach.

Five people have submitted petitions to run for the board. Their names will be listed on the ballot in the following order:

  • Melissa Miller
  • John Chandler
  • Christopher Scoville
  • Megan Pelizza
  • Kelly Firmbach

Each candidate is running for a three-year term from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2026.

To help district voters learn more about the candidates, please read the candidates’ statementa below. Additionally, a “Meet the Candidates Night,” hosted by the High School Participatory Government Class, will take place on Monday, May 8, 6 p.m. at the High School. It will also be livestreamed.

Melissa Miller

It has been my pleasure to serve on the PTA for eight years, five of those years as an officer. I have had the honor to support and collaborate with our students, teachers, and principals in my roles of Treasurer and President. As Treasurer I have come to appreciate the fiscal responsibility of maintaining a budget while also ensuring our students benefit from a variety of educational opportunities. As manager of the budget I was also mindful of our teacher and principal needs, allowing them to offer programming in the classrooms such as Race to Read, One School One Book, the 5th grade play and the Flying Deer Program. With my years of commitment and dedication to Ichabod Crane Central School District, I strive for the opportunity to assist the Board of Education in their efforts to support our students, teachers, and administrators. 

John Chandler

I have the privilege of currently serving on the Ichabod Crane Board of Education and am interested in serving again so that I may continue to advocate for public education and the development of policies and a culture for the District that are student-centered; focusing on both academics and diverse opportunities that encourage all students to discover and develop their interests as individuals and as well-rounded, caring, responsible, and productive members of the community.

I have lived in Columbia County since 1978 and the Town of Kinderhook since 1999, and have three children that recently graduated from Ichabod Crane.  I am a 1986 graduate of Hudson High School, went on to attain my JD and MBA from Albany Law School and Union University, and am currently a First Vice President in the Wealth Management group of Berkshire Bank.

Christopher Scoville

I live in Kinderhook with my wife and two daughters, who are both Ichabod Crane Primary School students. We moved to the area in 2019 after falling in love with the community. I want to serve on the Board of Education to give back to our community and make sure that our daughters and all Ichabod Crane Central students have the resources to be college and career ready.

I am an attorney working in the areas of labor, employment, and education law and a champion of public education. I know the power of a strong public education and that great schools lift the whole community. As a district parent, I have seen first-hand the academic and enrichment opportunities ICC has provided to our girls and all its students. Through a seat on the Board, I hope to expand these opportunities even further. I will work to build on ICC’s successes and grow its reputation as a competitive district where all community members want to send their children. And throughout these efforts I will ensure taxpayer dollars are directed at programs with the greatest impact.

As a Board member I will always be willing to listen. Because our community is stronger when all are heard.

Megan Pelizza

My name is Megan Pelizza. I have lived in Stuyvesant for the past 14 years, with my husband, three children and our two bird dogs. My husband is an Ichabod graduate and has always lived and worked in the community. My son Anthony is a fifth grader, my daughter Piper is a third grader, and my youngest Willow is attending Kindergarten this fall. My family is very involved in a lot of sports and outdoor activities. We are very close and do many things together. For example, we make our own maple syrup, hunt and fish together, and train our dogs.

As a Registered Nurse for the past 13 years,  I have always been an advocate for my patients and their families. Over the last six years I have filled in as a substitute nurse in the district. I am currently still on the substitute list. Having my children attend the Ichabod Crane School District, has made me realize how important school board decisions affect our district’s children and families. If elected, I would like to be part of this decision making team.

Kelly Firmbach

My name is Kelly (Rosbrook) Firmbach. I’ve been a resident of the school district for the last 25 years, returning to the area to have and raise my two children.  I’m a 1985 graduate of Ichabod Crane and my son and daughter graduated with the Class of 2015.  I studied Communications/Broadcast Journalism at Plattsburgh State and spent the bulk of my career in the Corporate Banking field at Bank of America and KeyBank.  More recently, the decision to work locally allowed me to join the team at Kinderhook Toyota. 

I’m honored to have served the Ichabod Crane School Board for the last three years in my first term as a board member.  My goals in running for re-election haven’t changed all that much since I ran the first time and are twofold:  First, I have a great deal of pride for ICC, for the school’s Alumni, its educators & staff and for its current and future students; I want to foster that pride within those groups, and within our community.  Secondly, I’m passionate about preparing all students for their intended path, whether that path takes them to college, straight to their career or to the military and will always cast my vote with that as my measure.  I would be equally honored to meet these goals and serve this role for another 3 year term. 

At the May 16 election, voters will also be voting on the budget for the 2023-24 school year. Budget information and voting information may be found here or by contacting the district clerk at mpotts@ichabodcrane.org or (518) 758-7575, ext. 3001.