The Newburgh Enlarged City School District’s Board of Education has three open vacancies with five potential candidates. This year’s candidates are Carol Maida [incumbent], Darren Stridiron [incumbent], Judy LeRoy, Jerry Ryan Lamar and John Doerre.
Current members Maida and Stridiron are seeking re-election again for the board while Lamar, LeRoy and Doerre are first time candidates for these seats.
Jerry Ryan Lamar
A 20 year resident of the Town of New Windsor and 25 year resident of the Newburgh district, Jerry Ryan Lamar will be seeking a seat on the board of education this coming May. Here in the Newburgh district, Lamar and his wife have raised three children. Two of Lamar’s three children have already graduated from Newburgh Free Academy and pursued additional education while his youngest child currently attends Newburgh schools. Lamar’s wife currently works as an elementary educator in the district.
Lamar received his bachelor’s degree in communications from Excelsior College in Albany and currently works for Terminix which have offices based here in Newburgh.
During the on-going COVID pandemic, the board of education transitioned and conducted their meetings virtually where Lamar said he began to learn more about the work being done in the district.
Priorities for Lamar that he wishes to address and work on within the district is the security and safety of the students. Within recent days, several bomb threats were made against the district which has caused concern for Lamar and other district stakeholders.
Other priorities for Lamar include bringing in beneficial educational programs for educators to use in their classroom and to work with each district department to address their individual needs. Lamar also would work to see upgrades to the ventilation systems and building infrastructure that will create healthier environments within the district buildings.
“The goal is to let the kids learn, you want the kids to learn as effectively as possible,” Lamar said. “I want to make sure that the resources that are needed to make the learning happen in the classroom are in place. Newburgh has a lot of tools in place that if managed properly can affect great change.”
A lifelong resident of the greater Newburgh area, Carol Maida will be seeking re-election to the board of education. Maida has served on the board for the past three years and has also served as the chairperson of the curriculum and instruction committee.
Maida is a graduate of the Newburgh Free Academy class of 1966, graduated from the State University of New York [SUNY] at Oneonta in 1970 and completed a Masters in Teaching from SUNY New Paltz in 1973. For 30 years, Maida worked as an elementary school teacher and literacy specialist.
Maida’s mother, and daughter are all graduates of Newburgh Free Academy and Maida currently has a granddaughter who attends Newburgh schools.
Following her retirement, Maida continued as a mentor to middle school teachers and worked with other middle school students in the district. In total, she has served 37 years in the district.
Maida shared that she and her fellow board members are working to identify additional educational resources and look to bring in a new superintendent that can lead the district forward in the right direction.
“Newburgh has been near and dear to my heart and educating the children in Newburgh has really been my life’s work,” Maida said. “I’ve spent the last three years on the board prioritizing our academic success and well-being for our students. I would like to continue to have the opportunity and the privilege of helping the students in Newburgh.”
Born in New York City, John Doerre first moved to Rockland County in 1963. Doerre graduated from Clarkstown South High School in Rockland County in 1974 and continued his education at Rockland Community College where he attained an associates degree in Biology in 1977.
In 1986, Doerre moved to Washingtonville where his two children graduated from the Washingtonville Central School District. In 2003, Doerre moved to Newburgh and Doerre now has a grandchild that currently attends Newburgh schools. Doerre also continues to work as the Director of Compliance for Miller Environmental Group Inc. and also serves on the Ethics Board for the Town of Newburgh.
As he is approaching retirement, Doerre shared that he felt this was the right time to apply for the board seat. Doerre shared that his business background experiences have allowed him to work and develop programs and work with a variety of teams over the years. When it comes to the district, he hopes to bring that similar experience and to learn more about his community.
If elected, Doerre hopes to provide more transparency, representation and information to the parents about what goes on in the district and continue to provide the necessary educational resources to help students towards graduation.
“I believe I’ll bring a set of new eyes and more importantly a set of new ears to listen to people and see what their concerns are,” said Doerre. “I believe as a Board of Education member, your priority is to create an environment that allows students to succeed in the public education system.”
Originally from Queens, Darren Stridiron is a 22 year member of the Newburgh district and eight year member of the board. Stridiron is a graduate of the State University of New York of Environmental Science & Technology and upon completion of his degree moved to Rockland County for work.
In 2001, Stridiron moved to the Newburgh area where he and his wife have raised three children here in the district. Two of Stridiron’s children are graduates of Newburgh Free Academy and he is also the owner of Heritage Land Surveying, P.C.
As a member of the board, Stridiron serves on the policy, curriculum, personnel, library, finance, building and grounds, exceptional learners and wellness and health and safety committees for the district. Stridiron also highlighted that he continues to support the music and arts programs across the district and was a proud supporter of the International Baccalaureate (IB) World School program at Horizons-on-the-Hudson.
“There’s so much that needs to be done in Newburgh. I believe that transparency is something that I believe in heavily,” Stridiron said. “Being on the board of education is my way of helping my community. The students are our future.”
A lifelong resident of the Newburgh area, Judy LeRoy will be seeking a seat on the board of education for the NECSD. LeRoy is a graduate of Newburgh Free Academy, received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the State University of New York [SUNY] at Plattsburgh and received a Master’s in Humanistic Education from SUNY New Paltz.
After 30 years of service as a nurse educator, district nurse and the Health Services Facilitator, LeRoy retired from the district in 2020. LeRoy’s husband is also a retired educator from the district and her two sons are both Newburgh Free Academy graduates. LeRoy has also served in the Orange County Medical Reserve Corp and served on the District and Building Health and Safety Committee and Building Compact Committee.
If elected to the board, LeRoy will continue to provide and advocate for quality education to the district and to serve the community she has called home all her life.
“Being a board member, you need to have transparency, honesty, the ability to communicate effectively and work collaboratively so that you can make decisions that are for all the stakeholders,” LeRoy said. “My past 30 years as an educator in Newburgh City School District will bring experience to ensure the highest level of student achievement for all NECSD present and future students. I believe that in order for learning to take place, we have to have a school environment that’s healthy, disciplined and safe.”
On May 17, district parents and residents will have the opportunity to vote from noon to nine that day on the district budget and for the candidates for the board.
In the City of Newburgh, residents can go to vote at Horizons-on-the-Hudson, South Middle School and Newburgh Free Academy Main Campus. In the Town of New Windsor, residents can vote at New Windsor School, Vails Gate School and Temple Hill School. In the Town of Newburgh, residents can vote at Balmville School, Fostertown School and Meadow Hill School.
The approved district budget for this upcoming school term is $305 million whereas the previous district budget was $293 million. This district budget increase represents a total increase of four percent. NECSD is also currently pursuing a new superintendent of schools for the upcoming school year with the intent to have someone in place by the summertime.