2024 Board of Education Candidates

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    Four candidates will be elected to the Board of Education during the District's annual vote on May 21. The two candidates with the highest number of votes will serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2024, the candidate with the third-highest number of votes will serve a two-year term beginning July 1, 2024, and the candidate with the fourth-highest number of votes will serve a one-year term beginning July 1, 2024. 

     

    Candidates were asked to provide their background and answer the following questions in writing:

     

    • Why are you running?

     

    • What do you see as the major challenges facing public education and specifically the Wheatland-Chili Central School District?

     

    • What experience or expertise do you bring to the board to address these challenges?

     

    Below are responses from each candidate in ballot order.

     


     

     

    Stephanie ElyStephanie Ely

     

    My husband and I are lifetime residents of Wheatland and WCCSD alums. We decided to raise our own family here and we have two children currently attending WCCSD. Professionally, I have a Masters in Education and I have been employed as a NYS certified teacher for the past ten years. Throughout my tenure as a teacher I have had the opportunity to learn the operations of the classroom as well as a school district. In conjunction with my teaching certification I am pursuing professional development to become a Syracuse University Project Advance instructor. I have also served as a team leader, an instructional coach and contributed to various school committees.

     

    I am running for election to the BOE because I believe in supporting our community’s biggest asset. As a dedicated educator I am committed to student success and I believe being a board member is a way I can positively contribute to our community and future generations.

     

    School districts are currently facing many new and unique challenges. One of the biggest challenges schools face is the ability to meet the rapidly changing needs of our students. As students’ needs change we must be willing to change and accommodate students while maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for all students. Addressing this challenge requires fostering strong communication and understanding between administrators, educators, families, and community members.

     

    My experience as a parent and a community member along with the skills I’ve acquired as a teacher will allow me to bring a fresh perspective to the BOE. Being a teacher, I see the intricacies of the school day, the importance of effective communication, collective decision making, and teamwork. As a lifelong learner, I recently attended the MCSBA Prospective School Board Candidate Seminar to learn more about the responsibilities of being a board member. I am eager to continue learning about all aspects of the BOE and how to continue to effectively support student success.

     

     

    Andrew TacklingAndrew Tackling

     

    For the last 7 years I have owned and operated a successful commercial and residential cleaning business. I have six years of professional workforce management analysis experience with Paychex. I went to college at MCC for criminal justice, and graduated from Spencerport High School in 2006. Through my years in the dojo, I have achieved a 3rd degree black belt and have worked with the RCSD in the past to help provide karate classes to after school elementary students. I have lived in Wheatland for 5 years, enjoy camping and volleyball, and have 3 boys in the district.

     

    Education has always held an interest in my life and I am constantly learning from every new experience that is placed in front of me. I’m excited to learn more about how being part of the school board can help to enhance not only my children's ongoing education, but my own as well. 

     

    First and foremost, I’m submitting my candidacy for school board so that the children of Wheatland-Chili can have the best and most informed opportunities provided to them within the district. I want to help bring solid policy oversight in order to better enhance the excellent educational environment that Wheatland already provides. District communication to parents is currently a large issue, specifically teacher to parent communication within the Middle/High School. T. J. Connor already implements an app that allows for frequent and easy communication from teacher to parent at any given point of the day and I believe that the Middle/High School should be able to have a similar program in place. One of my goals would be to potentially assist in policy related decisions in order to move the needle.

     

    My 3 children are a very large part of what I'm bringing to a school board setting, with their well being and those of the many families that help make Wheatland-Chili a home my main drive in how I would vote. Out of the many experiences that I've had with being a father, what comes to mind is my engagement with anxiety, ADHD, dyslexia, academic and physical challenges. These things can help set you apart from other families and give you exposure to wonderful assistance programs that need the proper funding to thrive. I bring years of analyst experience and the ability to work and collaborate well with a team, which can be a huge plus when being a part of a board. During my time at Paychex and through my time as a small business owner, I was and am frequently faced with obstacles that require agile teamwork and partnership to work through. I also bring forth policy creation and implementation skills from business ownership and look forward to the challenges a school board position would present to me.

     

    Adria CalleryAdria Callery

     

    My husband and I have been Wheatland residents for approximately 8 years. We made our home here because of the small-town community and felt it would be a good place to raise our family. I am a mother to two daughters who attend T. J. Connor Elementary, my oldest is in third grade and my youngest is in first. I am raising my children to believe that they can make a difference and that if they care about something, for example their school and community, it is important to be willing to contribute and give back. 

     

    I have a degree in history with minors in law and jurisprudence and social science. I have been in the legal field for close to 20 years in various roles collaborating directly with attorneys and their clients, often in management and overseeing junior staff. My career has given me the ability to be analytical, stay calm in tense situations and effectively communicate with different people who have had varying life experiences.

     

    As a parent, I feel that we need more parents of children in the district on the Board to be their eyes, ears, and voices. I believe that everyone who knows me would say that each and everything I do in a day is for my children and the community. I have had the honor of getting to know many of the amazing children in the Wheatland-Chili Central School District, have heard and seen their struggles and want to sit on a Board where I can play a part in coming up with constructive solutions to help them daily, leading to a better future for the children and the community as a whole. 

     

    The demographic of the Wheatland-Chili Central School District is changing and along with this, comes new and different demands that our district has not previously had to overcome.

     

    My career experience has taught me to understand and see the need for the continuous updating of polices to match the ever-changing climate of our schools, ensuring that they match what is being put into practice in our schools and effectively shared with the community. I attended the Monroe County School Board Association prospective board candidate seminar and have a good understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a board member and how I can help achieve them.

     

     

    Heather Allen WoernerHeather Allen Woerner

     

    I grew up in the district and an alumnus graduating in 1994. I currently have a son in Wheatland-Chili High School. I have been an active participant in the PTA, specifically planning and executing Wheatland-Chili's Field Day event and assisting with honor roll celebrations for our students for several years. Do I love this community? My husband and I were born and raised here and chose to raise our son in the very same environment. That speaks for itself.

     

    I have been employed by Rochester General Hospital for the past 20 years in an acute care setting. As a nurse I assess patients’ need to provide them with the best possible care and education in a timely fashion. Running for BOE allows me to contribute my assets and collaborate with other members ensuring the best possible outcome for our district. I believe in practical, common-sense solutions. These solutions address problems directly and efficiently. A few of my top priorities include:

     

    • Ensuring a safe and healthy learning
      environment
    • Fiscal responsibility

     

    I believe that by encouraging our children to think for themselves, respect the rules of the district, as well as each other, will greatly impact them as they transition into productive members of our society. 

     

    I believe my critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills/experience will only serve as an asset on the BOE.

     

     

    James MusshafenJames Musshafen

     

    My wife and I have been proud to reside in the community of Wheatland, NY for 28 years, and our two children graduated from WCCSD. I have been an active member of the community participating in activities and functions specifically related to the school district, as well as committees associated with the Town of Wheatland and my local church. My professional career involved working for great companies such as Bosch and Eastman Kodak. Over a 40 + year timeframe I have had the opportunity to develop and lead teams responsible for servicing and supporting customers across the U.S. and worldwide. I hold a bachelor’s degree in Business, Economics and Marketing.

     

    I am running for re-election to the BOE as I feel it is my responsibility as a resident of the district to commit my time and experience to help all students succeed in becoming young adults who will gain career and/or college aspirations from Wheatland- Chili. Additionally, I believe that our school district and its students are the most important assets, both within our community and for its future. I hold myself accountable, as a resident and present board member, for the oversight of these assets. 

     

    Coming off the pandemic years, public education is facing unprecedented challenges which it has never encountered. More pervasive social media, lack of accountability, and changing ideologies are a few entities that continue to stress the public education learning experience and processes. WCCSD must provide high quality programs and learning solutions for all of our children and young adults that will help them meet or exceed their goals. We must have a learning environment that allows for both collaborative and individual thinkers and learners. We need to have a safe classroom environment that allows teachers to succeed in their profession. The need for a stronger, more understanding and unified relationship between parents, teachers, administrators, and students is required. This team/community must hold each other accountable for providing the very best educational solution for the students and address opportunities as they arise. All of this needs to be accomplished while being fiscally responsible to taxpayers.

     

    My experience as a board member for the past 21 years, coupled with my involvement with Monroe County School Boards Association as well as my extensive leadership and personnel management experience in the business world, provides me with expertise in the following areas: effective communication, project management, negotiation, workplace diversity, decision making, demonstrated ability to make tough decisions, and teamwork.

     

     

    kim snyderKim Snyder

     

    I am a proud alumni and a lifelong member of the district. My husband of 36 years, Joe and I chose to educate our four children at Wheatland-Chili. All of our children have graduated and had success in their college experiences. Since graduating from Cornell University in Agricultural Economics I have returned to become part of the management of the family farm. I have enjoyed my past experience on the board and look forward to the opportunity to continue. 

     

    I am committed to our community and district. Serving on the board allows me to contribute to the continual improvement in the education of the next generation of leaders. As a board member, I want to give every child an education that will afford them the ability to solve any problem they are faced with.

     

    The greatest challenge is to provide quality education programs with smaller student numbers in a fiscally responsible way. We need to be a destination district. Outstanding service coupled with responsible resource management throughout all areas are critical in such uneasy times at the state level. 

     

    My experience as a small business owner as well as past years of service on the school board will be invaluable resources. The knowledge gained by serving on audit and fiscal committees is a valuable resource as we plan for next 5 years. I believe in continuous improvement for all. I’m motivated to do my part by serving as a board member where students’ education is the top priority by parents, teachers, staff and the community.