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Four WCS school board candidates, trimmed budget up for vote Tuesday

The budget's personnel cuts call for eliminating a high school Science position, one high school English position, a Special Education post, and a Driver's Education post.

The elimination of the science position would terminate 7th Grade Advanced Placement Science as a separate course. Those students who would have taken the course would join the regular 8th grade science course. The position cut would also mean the remaining Science teachers would teach six classes per day instead of five.

The local teachers' union didn't accept school board's attempts this year to negotiate reopening the existing multi-year teachers' work contract, which provides raises for WCS teachers. Board members had warned months ago that if the teachers didn't accept a pay freeze, positions would likely be cut. The various school administrators, however, voluntarily offered to freeze their pay at 2008-09 levels.

Two board seats are being contested in this upcoming public vote in the Warrensburg Central School District.

Board president Thomas Yarmowich is challenged by retired police officer Jim Carrion.

Two candidates, Beth Callahan and Sheila Mender, are seeking the second seat, now occupied by Melissa Thomas, who is retiring from the school board. Harry Rafferty had declared his candidacy for the seat, but last Friday, he withdrew his name. Monday, Mender submitted her petition to be on the ballot, and other candidates were welcome to submit similar petitions by Tuesday at 5 p.m.

Voting will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the elementary school gymnasium.

Here are profiles of the four candidates, based on questionnaires they returned to the Adirondack Journal this week:

James Carrion

Age: 53

Address: Moose Ridge Dr., Warrensburg

Present Occupation: Retired New York City Police Lieutenant

Education: Graduated State University of Farmingdale; have two children enrolled in the WCS school district.

Qualifications for board position: My law enforcement career required honesty and integrity beyond reproach. As a platoon commander I was responsible for the daytime operations of a police precinct. These duties required administrative as well as supervisory skills. As a sergeant in the detective division I was responsible for the investigation and supervision of serious crimes. I am a trained investigator that knows how to conduct investigations and research the facts for truthfulness. These various assignments required professionalism, responsible decision-making, teamwork and accountability.

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