Tedeschi nominated for BOCES board seat

Matthew Tedeschi

Enterprise file photo — Melissa Hale-Spencer
Matthew Tedeschi, at a meeting in December, reviews the Berne-Knox-Westerlo school district’s goal-setting practices. 

BERNE — At their Feb. 25 meeting, Berne-Knox-Westerlo school board members nominated board President Matthew Tedeschi to serve on the Capital Region Board of Cooperative Educational Services Board of Education.

“They asked me if I was interested; this highlights the turnaround that we have made in the region,” Tedeschi wrote in an email to The Enterprise.

There are currently four open seats, each with a three-year term, beginning in July of this year; three current members of the Capital Region BOCES board are running for re-election. Nominations for candidates are due by March 18.

If no further nominees are received, the election will be uncontested.

All 10 members of BOCES board of education are board members from school districts that are part of the Capital Region BOCES program, Audrey Hendricks, communications coordinator for Capital Region BOCES, told The Enterprise on March 7.

School board members from all 24 of the component districts will vote on the candidates as well as the annual budget for the Capital Region BOCES on April 17, said Hendricks.

The three others candidates are:

— Board President Kevin Kutzscher, who is from the Sharon Springs Central School District and is a board member of Tech Valley High School Board of Education;

— Heather Soroka, on Watervliet City School Board; and

— Rose Surman, on the Cobleskill-Richmondville School Board.

On April 2, school board members of component districts can meet the candidates at the BOCES Career and Technical Education building in Albany, said Hendricks.

At the BKW School Board meeting, District Superintendent Timothy Mundell said that he received a call from BOCES leaders, telling him they wanted someone from a rural area to serve on the board.

“They felt like they had decent representation from suburban schools,” said Tedeschi at the meeting. “They want more rural representation.”

To his knowledge, no one from BKW has served on the BOCES board, Tedeschi told The Enterprise, responding to questions through email.

He believes that it is important for rural school districts to be represented on the board as they use a significant number of BOCES services to have the same opportunities as larger school districts.

“We need to make sure that we have equity in opportunities for our students,” he wrote.

Tedeschi believes, by serving on the board, he can provide information about programs and services offered through BOCES that could help BKW and that the district might not otherwise know about.

He also said that the role could help the school district communicate better with state legislators about budget decisions that could impact BKW and similar school districts.

The Voorheesville and Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk school boards have resolutions on their agendas to appoint him as well, Tedeschi wrote.

Hendricks said that the BOCES board has a “gentleperson’s agreement” to have four members from Albany County, three from Schenectady County, two from Schoharie County, and one from Schenectady County.

The other Albany County districts are represented by board members from Guilderland, Bethlehem, and Watervliet. Tedeschi would be replacing Robert Domenici, who is on the South Colonie Central School Board and is not running for re-election to the BOCES school board.

The duties and responsibilities of the board include conducting assessments and planning for BOCES and its component districts; employing staff for BOCES programs and appointing BOCES superintendents; preparing and overseeing the BOCES budget; and setting policies, according to the Capital Region BOCES website.

Tedeschi, a BKW graduate who works in the insurance business, is also seeking re-election to another term on the BKW School Board. He wrote that the interest from BOCES is a sign that the school district has improved in several fields, and is becoming a “leading district,” which he said has occurred over the course of his time on the board and since hiring of Mundell.

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