Three seek Valley Central seats

By Kerry Butrick Dowling
Posted 5/10/22

The Valley Central School District Board of Education Election will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in conjunction with the 2022-2023 Budget Vote. There are three seats available this year which …

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Three seek Valley Central seats

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The Valley Central School District Board of Education Election will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, in conjunction with the 2022-2023 Budget Vote. There are three seats available this year which are all three year terms.

The following individuals are seeking a seat with the Valley Central Board of Education: Sarah Messing (Incumbent), Diana Revoir (Incumbent), and Jane Samuelson.

Sarah Messing (Incumbent)
Sarah Messing has served on the Valley Central School Board for the last six years having just finished her second term. A lifelong resident of the Valley Central School District, she received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Scranton in 2000. She is currently a resident of Montgomery and her four children attend Valley Central schools.

Messing is active in several Parent Teacher Associations, many local youth sports programs and she is a member of the Medical Reserve Corp. of Orange County. As a board member, Messing has sat on numerous committees during her six years including the audit committee, the policy committee, the guidance committee, and the health, safety, and wellness committee. She is currently the Valley Central board liaison and secretary of the Orange County School Board Association. In addition, she is serving on the county-wide BOCES facility committee for their upcoming capital project and she is also active in the New York State School Board Association.

When asked what she feels are the top three issues facing the school district Messing said, “The main issue facing not only our district, but most districts right now is mental health and having resources available to combat the effects of the last couple years on our students as well as our staff. Learning loss and filling in the gaps from the pandemic is also very important. Lastly, balancing growth and opportunities for our students at a level that can be supported by the community and the taxpayers is crucial. I am very happy this year that the district was able to put forth a budget well below the tax cap while addressing these concerns.”

Diana Revoir (Incumbent)
Diana Revoir has been a trustee on the Valley Central Board of Education from 2019 to the present. She has lived in the Valley Central School District her entire life, grew up in the Town of Newburgh and attended East Coldenham School.

In 1981, she graduated from Valley Central High School. Revoir went on to earn a Bachelor of Science from SUC Oneonta and a Master’s of Science degree from SUNY New Paltz. She taught in Walden Elementary School for 32 years mostly as a fifth grade teacher for 28 of those years and retired in 2018. Along with her late husband, she raised their two children in Walden where she has resided for 25 years.

Revoir explained that she feels the top three issues facing the school district are: transitioning back post-pandemic for students and staff, post-pandemic academics and fiscal responsibility with regard to the district budget.

“Since the pandemic, students have been struggling with far more than academics. There has been a significant rise in students’ social-emotional needs and behaviors. I support the expansion of the mental health curriculum and the continuation of the Yale RULER program for K-12 students. I plan to continue my work on the Curriculum Committee to listen to teachers and staff regarding issues and supporting their needs with programs they request. Secondly, some students were very successful with remote instruction while many other students struggled academically. I feel that it is important to support students’ academics through the support of Summer School programs and Before and After School programs to increase academic intervention and achievement. I plan to continue my work on the Technology Committee where we are working on the alignment of K-12 STEAM programs to the curriculum to help students achieve 21st century skills. Lastly, we need to address the rising costs to run the district while taxpayers are also facing steep prices in energy, food, and housing. As a board member I urge spending below the tax cap while maintaining the integrity of our academics and high interest extracurricular activities,” said Revoir.

Jane Samuelson
Jane Samuelson is running for a seat on the Board of Education for the first time. She and her husband have lived in the Town of Montgomery for 17 years and her daughter is a freshman at Valley Central High School.

Samuelson works as a professionally licensed civil engineer for Engineering & Surveying Properties located in the Village of Montgomery. She is also employed as the Treasurer for the Hamptonburgh Fire District. From 2013-2017, she served on the Montgomery Elementary PTA Board as Vice President and then President. Additionally, she served on the Town of Montgomery Comprehensive Plan Committee from 2020-2021.

Currently, she serves on the Board of Directors and on the Executive, Finance and Placemaking Committees for Vision Hudson Valley formerly known as Orange County Citizens Foundation.

When asked what she feels the top three issues facing the school district are Samuelson said, “One of the main issues is moving beyond the challenges resulting from COVID by embracing the positive adjustments and working to overcome the negative. In addition, bridging divisions in our community by listening to one another with respect and compassion. Lastly, preparing our graduates for careers in an ever changing and high-tech world by partnering with businesses in and beyond our community.”

The Valley Central School District 2022-2023 Budget Vote and School Board Election will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2022 at the Valley Central High School Gymnasium from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m.

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