Voters to select three board members on May 16 ballot

PTA to host Meet the Candidates forum on May 3

On Tuesday, May 16, in addition to the proposed 2017-18 school budget, residents will consider five candidates for three seats on the BKW Board of Education. The candidates with the greatest number of votes will fulfill three-year terms. The statements below were submitted by the candidates. The opinions contained within are theirs and may not reflect the opinions or views of BKW Central School District leaders or the board of education.

A “Meet the Candidates” event will be held on Wednesday, May 3, 7-8:30 p.m., in the secondary school library. Questions for the candidates must be submitted in advance to Persons submitting questions will remain anonymous.

Candidates are listed in the order in which they will appear on the ballot.

Photo of Kimberly Lovell

Kimberly Lovell is seeking her first full term on the Board of Education. She is currently serving the remainder of a vacated term.

My husband and I moved to East Berne to raise our family because we love the area, people and the school. Our five year old son, Kayden, is in kindergarten, our three year old son, Korey, will soon be attending pre-K, and our baby, Kelsie, will follow in their footsteps. We have found that BKW has strong teachers and staff, a strong community involvement and a strong mission.

As a BKW school board member, I understand all angles. I am a parent, a taxpayer, and an educator. I want the best educational experience for my children and the children in the community. My goal is to provide educational programs that are balanced with the budget. I have been teaching in the public school setting for nine years, as a special education teacher and currently as a literacy specialist. The faculty and staff at BKW are doing a tremendous job with our students. I want to continue to be a part of the momentum the board of education is striving towards.

I look forward to utilizing my skills to help make improvements within the school district. I would be honored to continue my service for the students, school, and community.

Photo of Helen Lounsbury

Helen Lounsbury is seeking a term on the board of education. She previously served on the board.

I am a BKW graduate, as are my four brothers and three children. I have an MA in Literature and Curriculum Development.

I taught at Mohonasen and then BKW for over 30 years, followed by teaching graduate and undergraduate courses at Saint Rose, consulting at the U.S. and NYS department of education, and 16 years serving as the Capital Region Student Teaching Supervisor for SUNY Oneonta. This year, I received an Albany County Woman of Distinction Award.

I previously served for almost 16 years on the BKW board and was on the state commissioner of education’s advisory board. I regularly attend board meetings and stay current with district matters and education.

Many of you know me personally and know my deeply rooted commitment to both our school and community. I know what works and what doesn’t. I know what’s worth the money, and what’s not. I am a person of my word and can be counted on not only to keep the needs of our children in the forefront, but also the needs of the community as a whole. I ask for your vote on May 16.

Photo of Nathan Elble

Nathan Elble is seeking re-election to the board of education.

My name is Nathan Elble and I am seeking your support for re-election to the BKW board of education.

I am a proud BKW graduate (‘99) and I reside in Knox on a small hobby farm with my wife Carli and our four children: Natalie, Charlotte, Eden and Mason.

I am an IBEW electrician, currently working at the SUNY Nanotechnology campus in Albany. In addition to being a member of the current board of education I also utilize my free time to volunteer for several Hilltown organizations, including the BKW Little League, the Knox Youth Council and our school PTA.

It has been my privilege to serve our community as a board member for the past 14 months. I believe that my time spent on the BOE has been productive; including two balanced budget seasons, a reasonable veterans exemption increase and the hiring of two new school principals. As the father of a large young family, I am passionate about the vision I have for our district going forward, not just for my own children, but for all of those attending BKW.

I will never waiver in my commitment to our students’ needs or stray from the fiscally responsible stewardship of your taxpayer dollars. Let’s keep the positive momentum going.

Photo of Randy Bashinwinger

Randy Bashwinger is seeking his first term on the board of education.

I take great pride in being a graduate of BKW. This pride and dedication to the community is why I have dedicated my life to public service.

After many years of working in residential and commercial building materials, I knew it was time to give back to the community that gave so much to me.

As the Berne Highway Superintendent and a member of the Helderberg Rescue Squad, I try to make my community better for my seven children. Four of those children walk the halls of BKW each day. I have seen many changes in the district since my graduation in 1989.

As a parent and community member, I am dedicated to putting students’ needs first with equality for all students. My passion for this community runs deep.

My phone is always on and I look forward to hearing from all of you so we can all work together to move BKW into the future.

Photo of Martin SzingerMartin Szinger is seeking his first term on the board of education.

Martin Szinger has been a Town of Westerlo resident since 2012. His wife, Kathleen (Curtis), is a BKW graduate and current PTA member. Of their four children, Charles is in 2nd grade at BKW, Matthew is in kindergarten, Abigail is entering pre-K this fall, and Eleanor is a future BKW student.

Martin grew up in Buffalo, NY, earning BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering at SUNY Buffalo. While living in Western New York, he served on the church council at Trinity ELCA South Newstead for ten years, eight as council president.

Today he works full-time as a senior software engineer at Carma Systems, Inc., in downtown Albany.

Martin is seeking a board seat to advocate for excellence in student achievement and staff performance, and to promote and strengthen ties between the school and community. He believes that the upcoming Capital Improvement project is a vital step needed to shape the school for its current and future mission, and that he can make a positive contribution on the board as it completes the planning stage and brings the final result to the community for approval..