Meet the candidates running for the Minisink Valley Board of Education on May 21

In addition to voting for the proposed 2024-25 school budget on Tuesday, May 21, voters will be asked to select new Board of Education members.

Voters will be asked to select three members for three-year terms running from July 1, 2024 through June 30, 2027.

Candidates, in ballot order, are:

  • Anthony Monaco
  • Dr. Scott Hines
  • Jessica Eli
  • Kathlee DeRose

Anthony Monaco

anthony monacoI’m Anthony Monaco, president of Tony Monaco Landscaping. My firm, based in Middletown, has over 25 years of experience successfully serving the greater Orange County area.  I manage a crew of 25 employees and work with many community members, small businesses and public officials every day.  As a small business owner, I understand the critical importance of successful business operations and positive client relations and outcomes while always being respectful of the use of my customers’ hard-earned money. I have brought these skill sets into my role as your Board of Education member.

In addition to working for my family business, I have coached and now officiate high school wrestling. My wife Rebecca and I are lifelong residents of Orange County. Rebecca, a teacher, has taught in New York State for the past 21 years. We also have two children in the district: Our daughter, who is a high school freshman; and our son, an Otisville Elementary School fourth-grader. Please know that in my role as a Board of Education member, I look at all aspects of district operations through the lens of a parent, taxpayer and business owner.

Over the past three years as your Board of Education member, I’ve been a part of successful contract negotiations, oversaw the completion of important capital project work and annual school budget development, participated in Lobby Day at our State Capital in addition to board trainings, webinars and New York State School Board Association continuing education events. I’m chairperson of the Buildings and Grounds Committee and a member of your Board of Education’s Athletics and Audit committees, but make a point to understand the operations of all Board committees.

I’m constantly looking at ways to further enhance my Board knowledge. Examples of this include attending Lobby Day at our State Capitol, where I have the opportunity to speak to our elected officials about funding for our schools and school policies. Board of Education professional development programs give me the opportunity to learn more about what board members can do for our students to help them succeed with all the opportunities available to them. I bring this knowledge to every board meeting.

I am passionate about our district’s ongoing academic, athletic and co-curricular success. The ability for this district to create new academic offerings, sports teams and clubs gives our students more opportunities which I believe will help with their long-term success.  My continued hope and goal is to further build Minisink Valley Central School District as one of the area’s top-ranking school districts while offering students the most academic, co-curricular and athletic offerings that we afford. I’m committed to further growing my relationships with community members, faculty, staff, students, administration and elected officials.

Additionally, I will continue to ensure our community’s best interests and prudent use of their tax dollars always remain a top priority when making important and thoughtful decisions that are well-researched, because these decisions affect all residents.

I would be honored to serve another term on the Minisink Board of Education.

Dr. Scott Hines

Dr. Scott HinesGiven the rural nature of the community in which we live, Minisink is the hub that binds us all together.

Over the past 18 years that I have lived in Slate Hill with my wife Mary and three children, Andrew (12th grade), Lucy (10th grade) and James (8th grade), I have witnessed this school create a sense of community through sporting events, concerts, drama productions, and academic competitions.

I have witnessed our seniors enter the workforce, military, or college well-prepared for the challenges that lie ahead because of the experiences they have had here in our schools. These things don’t happen by accident. They happen because there are talented, dedicated people who work together in the best interest of our children from kindergarten through high school.

I initially joined the Board of Education in 2020 because I wanted to actively contribute to this legacy and felt that my experience as a physician, executive, and parent would serve me well in this role. I have learned so much over the past four years on the Board and feel that we have accomplished a lot, but
there is always more to do. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to contribute to the future of our school district for not only my children, but for all of the other children who are fortunate enough to call this district their home.

Jessica Eli

Jessica EliMy name is Jessica Eli, and I would be honored to be elected to Minisink’s Board of Education.

I want to serve because I feel strongly about the importance of education; it’s been the central focus of my life.  I have been an elementary school teacher in a neighboring district for more than a decade.   I continued my own education and in 2009 I was awarded a Masters of Education with a focus in literacy from East Stroudsburg University.  I believe my experience and education would make me a valuable addition to the board.

Additionally, I am an active community member.  My husband and I are both originally from Port Jervis, but we moved to the Minisink School District in 2012. We have two daughters, our youngest is in first grade and our oldest is a fourth grader at MVIS.

My goal is to advocate for all of our children using my expertise and background in education.  Our students and teachers would benefit greatly from establishing an education committee within the BOE, where we can reflect and discuss current and important matters with district teachers and administrators.

I  believe if I were elected I would bring a wealth of knowledge as a mother, teacher, and community member.  This will be my driving force and my background will help me work well with the other Board of Education members.

Thank you.

Kathlee DeRose 

Kathlee DeRoseHi!  My name is Kathlee (Kathy) DeRose!  I have a long history with the Minisink Valley School District!  I graduated from Minisink in 1985 after attending from kindergarten through 12th Grade.  I am extremely proud to be a MV Warrior and have many long-lasting friendships from my time at Minisink.  I have three children who are also K-12 graduates of Minisink Valley.  During their time at Minisink, I was a class-mom multiple times and eventually went on to become a School Board Member for nine years from 2012-2021.  Although I thoroughly enjoyed all my experiences as a Board Member, I decided not to run for a fourth term as I was taking care of my mom, who suffered from dementia.  She has since passed and I find that I am still interested in being involved with the school board.

After 33 years, I retired from my position as Director of Accounts the Orange County Department of Finance in December 2021, again to take care of my mom and as a bonus, I am able to spend time with my three-year old granddaughter.  I have returned to working part-time as a Fiscal Associate with the Orange County Employment and Training Administration (ETA).  I find this work fulfilling as I enjoy working to support all the wonderful work ETA does to find good and meaningful employment for many Orange County residents.

I am an extremely dedicated and hard-working individual with over 35 years of experience in areas of governmental/municipal accounting.  In addition, my other strengths are my ability to prioritize issues, my excellent work ethic, my moral Integrity and strength of character.  I believe these qualities would be an asset to our district.

In an effort to give back to our community and to others less fortunate, listed below are some of my community services endeavors:

  •  Member of the Board of Education for the Minisink Valley School District: 9 years
  • Member of the Advisory Board for the St. Margaret’s Soup Kitchen in Middletown: 10+ years
  • Overnight volunteer at the Middletown Warming Station: 5 years
  • Class and Team mom for various classes and teams that my children were a part of: 15+ years
  • Ran the Minisink Valley Youth Football Concession Stand: 8+ years
  • Religion Teacher at Holy Cross RC Church: 15 years

Thank you for taking the time to read this bio and for considering my candidacy as a Minisink Valley Board of Education Member!