Return to Headlines

2021 Board of Education Candidates

April 21, 2021

Community members are invited to a Meet the Board Candidates Night on Monday, May 10, at 6:00 PM in the Knickerbacker Middle School Auditorium, which will be immediately followed by the Annual Budget Hearing at 6:30 PM.

You can find more information below about the individuals running for the two (2) seats opening on the Lansingburgh Board of Education. Each seat is for a five (5) year term commencing on July 1, 2021, and expiring on June 30, 2026.

The names of board candidates shall appear on the ballot as follows:

  1. Jillian Manupella
  2. Stephanie DiPalma
  3. Andrea Fairhurst

The Lansingburgh Board Election and Budget Vote are taking place on Tuesday, May 18. Find information about voting for the 2021-2022 Budget and Board Election here. 

About Jillian Manupella

Jillian ManupellaJillian Manupella (Ciabotte) is a lifelong Lansingburgh resident, class of 97' LHS graduate, and proud mother of a Knickerbacker middle schooler. Jillian currently serves as Co-President of the RPES PTA and Treasurer of the Lansingburgh PTA Council. She holds a BA in Elementary Education from American University and has twenty years' professional experience in medical administration and management.

Why would you like to be on the Lansingburgh Board of Education?  

I've volunteered for the PTA over the last six years and would like to bring my commitment, resourcefulness and Lansingburgh-pride to the board of education. I was deeply disappointed with the decision to keep our students out of the classroom over the last year. I would like to be a member of the board to guarantee our children receive the education they deserve, provide needed support for teachers, and ensure open communication so parents are aware of what decisions are being made and why. My goal is to keep students' well-being and academic success at the center of all board decisions.

What do you see as the challenges in US education today and in the future?

Limited resources. Not only do we have to balance a budget with a reduced tax base and shrinking state funds but there's an increased burden on schools when students lack resources at home. We have incredible teachers in our district that provide for our children in so many ways, many times unacknowledged. As a community we need to support them, and provide the resources that students and families need.

What changes would you like to see in the Lansingburgh School District?

The students, staff, and teachers in our district are amazing. I'm so proud of our rich history, our commitment to success, and the diversity of the students in our school. I would like to help our district become more transparent so all community members, especially parents, know what decisions are being made and why. I plan to bring creative solutions to the complex issues surrounding school reopening and expand opportunities for students to participate in extra-curricular programs and events, while ensuring health and safety.

About Stephanie DiPalma

Stephanie DiPalmaHaving lived in the Lansingburgh School District all my life, I have many milestone memories, and they are built around education. I attended Catholic Central High School where I met my high school sweetheart and husband, Brian. We chose to remain in the district to raise our nine year old son, Nate, because of the terrific experiences we had as children.

Why would you like to be on the Lansingburgh Board of Education?  

Education is my calling and has been my career path for the last fourteen years serving in leadership roles, as well as teaching.

What do you see as the challenges in US education today and in the future?

One challenge I see our district face year after year is sustaining top leadership talent. Our dedicated veteran teachers are being sandwiched between complacent leaders who view the district's leadership roles as a means to a more suburban end.

Access to students and resources has been even more challenging due to Covid, and students, faculty and families have all felt this effect throughout the world.

Funding and budget always present challenges, especially within public schools. Our district experienced this firsthand, last fall, when our doors were literally closed. Faculty and staff were furloughed, and our children were taught remotely for more than half the school year. Fiscal responsibility is critical for a successful school district.

What changes would you like to see in the Lansingburgh School District?

 My vision is to have a school district where:
-the leadership will set education standards that our children deserve.
-Teachers are happy to work here and have the support of the community.
-It is fiscally responsive to the educational needs of our children and transparent with its taxpayers on decision making.
-Its community's diversity is embraced while providing an inclusive learning environment for all students. 

About Andrea Fairhurst

Andrea FairhurstI’m a mother of two Lansingburgh students, Aidan, a senior and Anya, a student of Turnpike’s EPK program. I was a longtime officer of the PTA and received the Honorary Life Membership award. I have been a Respiratory Therapist for over 15 years and have a Bachelor’s of Science degree.

Why would you like to be on the Lansingburgh Board of Education?

As a community member, parent and alum of Lansingburgh, I have learned that it’s important to be part of the solution, not the problem. Getting elected onto the school board would give me the opportunity to be a voice for our children and the community who understands its problems.

What do you see as the challenges in US education today and in the future?

As the pandemic drives our education platform into our homes and prevents our children from face to face instruction, our children are now behind the learning curve. In-person instruction is imperative to our children's future and they will need significant remediation to regain all that was lost.

What changes would you like to see in the Lansingburgh School District?

A change I would like to see in our district would be transparency within our financial situation. The pandemic denied the opportunity for our students to play sports while other schools in our section played. I will bring innovation and creative thinking to provide these opportunities for our children.