Floyd Mair has the experience, skills, and heart to do this job

To the Editor:
May 21 is the day that Guilderland residents get to vote for both the school budget and the candidates for school board. This year there are five candidates running for three seats.

Two of the candidates are teachers and, if elected would mean the nine-member board would consist of a majority of teachers. Teachers are invaluable and dedicated people, without whom our schools could not function. They are, without a doubt, unsung heroes.

However, there is no requirement that school board members all be teachers; indeed, the board is envisioned and designed to be composed of a broad spectrum of voices representing the community as a whole. To have a school board composed mainly of teachers would defeat the purpose of a board with diverse voices.

Elizabeth Floyd Mair is one of the non-teacher candidates running for school board this year who has the background, temperament, and skillset that make her a perfect and much-needed addition to the school board.   

Elizabeth is a long-time resident of Guilderland with a daughter who started as an elementary student in Guilderland and is now a sophomore in high school. Elizabeth has been a very involved parent every step of the way.

She strongly feels that every child has a right to an education of free ideas and a safe environment; one that encourages all students to reach their full potential, without bullying or favoritism. A few years ago when our schools recognized that our town had grown more diverse in terms of race, religion, ethnicity and gender identity, Elizabeth was on the front lines by applying to serve on the school’s first Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee to ensure that all students were treated without bias, prejudice, or racism.  After her two-year term ended, she volunteered to stay on an additional year to help continue this important work.

Elizabeth also served as a reporter for the town newspaper (The Altamont Enterprise) and the Times Union. As such, she developed a keen understanding of the major issues facing our town and got to sit down and listen to residents expressing their concerns.

She is able to listen closely to what people are saying, research an issue, and look into possible solutions. For instance, the town just settled a lawsuit with Pyramid wherein the school district must give back almost $5 million in taxes.

Elizabeth thinks outside the box. She has publicly suggested that Pyramid take some of this money and set up a small college scholarship for a Guilderland student, which would show Pyramid to be a good neighbor and caring member of the community.

She has also expressed a strong desire to get together with the parents of special-needs children and find solutions to their very serious concerns, including offering intermediate classes at a level between the two extremes of Regents classes and Life Skills classes.

In short, Elizabeth will represent a voice for parents of children in our schools, as well as the children themselves, and also as a voice for the average resident who, regardless of whether or not he or she has children, struggles to pay school taxes every year.

I have known Elizabeth for several years now and I can say she is a compassionate, intelligent, decent human being who is committed to this. She has the experience, skills, and heart to do this job and make a real, positive difference. I urge everyone to go to the polls on May 21 and vote for Elizabeth Floyd Mair for school board. There is no better choice.

Laurel Bohl


Editor’s note: Laurel Bohl was formerly a Guilderland Town Board member.

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