Meet the Board of Education candidates running for seats in the May 17 annual budget vote and election

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In addition to voting for the proposed 2022-23 school budget and bus proposition on Tuesday, May 17, voters will be asked to select Board of Education members.

Voters will be asked to select three members for three year terms running July 1, 2022 through June 30. 2025;  and one member for the unexpired term caused by the resignation of a board member from on or about May 17, 2022 through June 30, 2024.

In alphabetical order, meet the candidates:

William CooperWilliam “Bill” Cooper
I am a lifelong resident and graduate of Minisink Valley. I graduated from Bloomsburg University and was a teacher and coach for over 30 years.

I love that I can give back to my community that has given me and my family so much.

I have served on the Board of Education for the past 12 years.   I have been a member of the Finance Committee, as its chairman, for 10  years. I also have received the Silver Recognition Award from the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA) and attend as many board seminars as possible

I would be honored to be re-elected and continue my goal of helping Minisink Valley become a “School of Excellence “

Joseph Flaherty
Joseph FlahertyI’m a Town of Wawayanda resident and Minisink Valley Board of Education president, a position I’ve  held for the last consecutive 10 years.

I was elected to the Board of Education 12 years ago and has been involved with every Board committee since my election. I’m also an ex-officio of all committees, as part of my Board president role.

I’m president, and past vice president, of the Orange County School Boards Association (OCSBA), where I lead other district board presidents in professional development programming. I oversee the group as they exchange ideas and discuss current issues of concerns for the betterment of school board operations, which ultimately benefits the county’s students.

I’m also active in the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA), and regularly attend regional and state conferences to bring this group’s best practices back to Minisink Valley.

I’m  the recipient of the Mid-Hudson School Study Council’s (MHSSC) Award of Excellence in Board service, which recognizes my successful volunteer Board work at Minisink Valley.

I’m the proud father of four children, a 26-year district resident and a retired NYPD sergeant. I earned my bachelor’s degree from Long Island University’s CW Post campus.

Nakia HickmanNakia Hickman
I’m a long-time resident of the Minisink Valley community, and a proud mom of an 8th grader. I am gainfully employed as the supervisor of Student Services Central at OCCC.

I was a member of the Otisville PTO. My forethought of becoming a member was the ideal that – for my child – early investment in the powerful tool of education would increase his resilience and impact his journey through the Minisink Valley. I’ve been a member of the Diversity Committee at Minisink and am currently an active Minisink Valley Board of Education member.

I would like to let you know that serving on the school board has been a humbling and rewarding experience thus far. I have been able to witness and contribute to the many moving parts that keep this district thriving. I have a different perspective that is much needed in our district.  I am humbled and wish to continue to be a part of the Minisink Valley School Board.

Angela KoenigAngela Koenig
 I’m a mother of four fantastic children and a wife to a wonderful husband.  My husband and I both graduated from Minisink in 1996.

If you don’t know me yet, there are three words that sum my life up pretty well: Faith, Family and Freedom.

As a board member, I will work tirelessly to protect parents’ rights and concerns in every aspect that pertains to their most precious asset, their children.

My concerns are the same as yours.  We need board members who will challenge programs such as CRT and keep gender issues out of the classroom as well as uphold the best curriculum for our children.

We should always teach our children to stand up and defend our values.  I’m now doing what we teach our kids is right, I’m standing to protect our district and our children.  We are in this together!

vanessa wrightVanessa Wight
I am delighted to be a candidate for the Minisink Valley Board of Education.

I moved to Mount Hope in 2012 with my husband, Nick Curabba (a Minisink Valley graduate) and our children, Charlie and Ozzy, who now attend the Middle School and Otisville Elementary.

I hold a Ph.D in sociology and worked as a sociologist researching children and poverty. After moving here, I stayed home with our children until recently transitioning back to work as a real estate agent for Howard Hanna|Rand Realty.

Over the last decade, I have remained active in the community, serving as chair of the Middle School  PTO, past chair of the Otisville PTO, and a Girl Scouts troop leader.

I am running for the Board of Education because I value education and believe parent involvement is the cornerstone of public schools.  I hope to continue the work of ensuring a quality education for our children, fiscal responsibility, and a strong collaboration between parents, teachers and community members.