Return to Headlines

Board Recognition Week: Speaking with Andrea Fairhurst & Jim Spear

October 22, 2021

For School Board Recognition Week (October 18-22) we spoke with current Lansingburgh Board Members Andrea Fairhurst and Jim Spear. They told us a bit about why they ran for the board, moments they are proud of and some of the challenges.  

Our board members volunteer countless hours of their time every year to make Lansingburgh the best school district it can be. Thank you to all of them for everything they do for Lansingburgh students, families and staff! 


Andrea Fairhurst

How long have you been a member of the Lansingburgh Board of Education?

I've been a member of the Lansingburgh Board since July of this year.

Image of Andrea Fairhurst

What inspired you to run for the Lansingburgh Board?

My biggest inspiration to run for the Lansingburgh Board was my children. I had a senior in Lansingburgh High School and a daughter in the 3-year-old EPK program.

Throughout the years, I held different positions with the PTA and had been extremely involved in my children’s school experience but never felt like I could make a difference when it really mattered. Being part of the board, I feel you can really make a difference not only for my children but for the children of the district.

What have been some of the most fulfilling district accomplishments during your time so far on the board?

In my short time on the board, the most fulfilling accomplishment is having all the children in the district back to school in person. Seeing the schools filled with children who are eager to learn and excited to be there is an amazing thing to see after they couldn't attend in person for much of last year.

On the other hand, what has been one of the biggest challenges for the district during your time on the board?

Transportation has been a struggle for our district from the beginning of this school year. The biggest challenge we face is the inability to have a quick fix to a problem that is out of our control. It's a problem nationwide and are working hard to do all we can to provide safe transportation for our students.

What’s a fun fact that the Lansingburgh community may not know about you?

Although I have lived in the Lansingburgh Central School District since I was a young girl, I was born in Lincoln, England. Lincoln is a Roman city known for being the birthplace of the first Tank ever made.


Jim Spear

How long have you been a member of the Lansingburgh Board of Education?

This is my 3rd year on the Lansingburgh Board of Education. 

Image of Jim Spear and siblings

What inspired you to run for the Lansingburgh Board?

After 38 years working in Special Education, I thought I might be able to contribute to my district.

What have been some of the most fulfilling district accomplishments during your time so far on the board?

Everything that happened and continues to happen in response to COVID. Watching how everyone in the district has responded from teachers to administration to paraprofessionals has been amazing. Seeing people step up and step forward to help each other and the students has been beyond belief.

Hiring a new superintendent (Dr. Abitabile) was another of the board’s greatest accomplishments since I joined. Choosing a candidate from a pool of qualified people took real consensus decision-making.

On the other hand, what has been one of the biggest challenges for the district during your time on the board?

Attempting to increase community involvement and helping district families understand who does what in the district and why.

Coming onto the board, I welcomed any opportunity to see how districts work and teams help support districts. My time on the Lansingburgh Board has really helped me to understand the responsibilities that every community member has to support our school district.

What’s a fun fact that the Lansingburgh community may not know about you?

I am owned by a four-legged furry dog. I grew up locally and besides a few trips to Central New York for college, I have spent my whole life here in the Lansingburgh area and half my family still lives nearby. I am also enamored with Ted Lasso.