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2020 Board of Education Candidates

May 19, 2020

You can find more information below about the individuals - Michael Cusack and Daniella Richards - 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, 2020, and expiring on June 30, 2025.

School board elections and budget are taking place on June 9, 2020, by absentee ballot only. Review full changes to this year's budget vote and board election here. 

 


About Michael CusackMichael Cusack

I was born and raised in Troy NY and have resided in Lansingburgh since 1992 after having served in the US Army.  My wife Kelly and I have three children, two of whom still attend school in Lansingburgh.  My professional career is focused on Process Improvement and Lean Manufacturing in the Transportation, Construction, and Light Industry fields.  Most everyone who I know in the neighborhood I've met through my time volunteering to organize the Lansingburgh Youth Soccer Club over the last 10 years, and also from time past spent volunteering to coach with Lansingburgh Little League.

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

I care deeply about our neighborhood and the connections the families have with our school district.  Families from every background deserve equal and unfettered access to the best possible education our district can provide.  As a current member of the board, I wish to continue the effort to provide that access and enhance the delivery of learning in a way that furthers the success of our students.

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

Setting aside the current Pandemic (COVID-19) situation, the largest issue from my perspective is the constant external interference from the State and Federal Government.  We, of course, need a structure to educate the children under, however, it cannot continue to be driven and mandated by forces that spend less than a few days in our schools in any given year.  It especially cannot continue to exist when the funding that is needed to deliver that education is completely imbalanced and unrealistic.  We need a level financial playing field and we need a less restrictive system that enhances the abilities of our teachers.

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

I'd like to see our students grow their presence in the community through youth sports programs and volunteer opportunities.  Whether it's joining up to play a particular sport, spending some time helping to keep our neighborhoods clean, or volunteering with any of our neighborhood resources to sustain and improve the communities that make up our district, nothing ties you to your neighborhood more than sweating to maintain it!


About Daniella RichardsDaniella Richards

I am a parent of 2 current Lansingburgh students and a recent graduate. In addition to my education in business management; I am a General Topics Instructor through the NYS Dept of Criminal Justice, and have also taught CPR classes through the American Red Cross, and the American Heart Association. I have worked in the security industry for the last 14 years providing services to a broad base of clients; including education. My professional background in the Security Industry provides a unique insight into the safety and security in each of our schools. I have this knowledge, and I desire to share it with the goal of helping to make our schools safer. I have held positions in Human Resources, Training, and Management, so I understand what it takes to keep people engaged, interested, and willing to work as part of a team. I will leverage that experience in any way necessary to provide efficient and effective tools to our teachers allowing them more quality time to do their jobs better. I also have an established and well-respected track record of volunteerism in this community. I volunteer as a Coach with the Lansingburgh Youth Soccer Club, as a member of the High School Boys Soccer Booster Club, and I have also served as a Cub Scout Den Leader. This is where I gained the most impactful and greatest experience while donating my time to the community. I’ve been rewarded with these experiences and desire to share those viewpoints with other parents and community leaders. I believe we should always be receptive and respectful of everyone’s voice, and to take something new away from every conversation.

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

Each member of our community owes the students of our district an opportunity to excel in a safe and innovative environment. Investing in relationships amongst stakeholders, whether it be parents and staff members, or businesses and homeowners, cultivates a student that will grow into an invested and productive community member. I am running for a seat on the Lansingburgh School Board because I believe my community experiences when combined with my professional experiences will contribute to that cultivation, and help to improve our school district by invigorating the ties between it and the dynamic and diverse community it services.

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

I am concerned with the steadily increasing costs of public education. As a homeowner in the district, I’m very concerned with keeping taxes manageable to achieve student success. We should be providing our students with the highest level of education we can muster, but we need to do so using efficient and innovative methods to keep those costs down.