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Three Lake Placid school board seats up for grabs

March 20, 2014
By MATTHEW TURNER ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Central School District is looking for willing candidates for an election May 20. Three seats are open on the Board of Education.

School board members Phil Baumbach, Herb Stoerr and Jennifer Tufano will not seek re-election, planning to leave their seats vacant. Each seat has a three-year term.

Two of the three available terms will start July 1, after the current holders of those seats, Stoerr and Baumbach, finish their terms June 30. The third seat, held by Tufano, will be taken over by the top vote getter immediately after the May election, according to board clerk Karen Angelopoulos. This is because Tufano was appointed rather than elected, so she must forfeit her seat right after a new person is elected, Angelopoulos said.

Mary Dietrich, the school board president, said she has not yet heard from anyone who plans to seek the seats.

To be nominated, a candidate must submit a nominating petition signed by at least 25 qualified district voters. The petitions are due to the district clerk on or before April 21. School board members serve three-year terms.

"All three (board members) have been positive contributing members of the board," Dietrich said. "Their goal was to make the school system provide for the needs of the students."

Baumbach, a member for eight years, said it was time for someone else to step forward and serve.

"I did my terms there and was very honored and privileged to serve," Baumbach said. "I would like for someone else to step forward."

Stoerr, a member for three years, said he has plans to travel in the future, and that conflicts with continuing to be on the school board.

"I plan to travel to Mexico," Stoerr said. "I just feel I can't do my job and do extensive traveling."

Tufano, who has served one term on the school board, gave her intention not to run last week. She hopes to spend more hands-on time with her two daughters.

"I'm shifting focus," Tufano said. "I have two young kids in fourth and sixth grade. I came from a place where I was always very involved in the reading program and events like that."

Tufano said her decision was not because of any dissatisfaction with the school board, saying she had learned a lot about the school district during her time there.

"I think it was very beneficial to be on the board," Tufano said.

Dietrich and school board member Patricia Gallagher will be up for re-election in 2015, and school board Vice President John Hopkinson and member Rick Preston will be up in 2016.

For those interested in running, petitions are available at the district office in the administration building located behind the middle/high school or on the district website's Board of Education page. If a potential candidate has questions concerning the election, he or she can contact Angelopoulos at



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