BKW candidate: Kimberly Lovell

Kimberly Lovell

Kimberly Lovell

HILLTOWNS — Berne-Knox-Westerlo School Board incumbent Kimberly Lovell was first appointed to the board in 2017. 

Lovell, who lives in East Berne with her husband and three children, teaches special education in the Greenville Central School District. She obtained her master’s degree from the University at Albany and keeps herself up-to-date on educational practices through conferences and webinars. 

“I really feel that I am in the educational realm throughout every piece of my life,” Lovell told The Enterprise. “As a parent, throughout my job, and then during my time on the board of ed.” 

 

Going forward 

Lovell thinks that balance between student opportunities and fiscal responsibility will be the major focus of the school board over her next term.

“I believe that the most important issues … [are] going to be our financial impact as well as our academic and social-emotional opportunities for our students,” Lovell said. “As we really proceed forward after this pandemic and during this pandemic, I think we’re going to have to remain flexible, while also really staying focused on what our roles are within the school board.

“We really need to make sure that we continue to do what we’re doing right now,” Lovell continued, “which is aligning ourselves with the Capital Region districts and superintendents throughout the area to really brainstorm and move forward together so that our students are receiving opportunities that provide them to move forward, while also the responsibility of a board to make sure we’re being fiscally responsible for our community … We will grow from these uncertain times but we will need to work together to remain strong throughout the next three years.”

Budget

On the budget, Lovell said that programming is what benefits the students foremost, but that the district needs to remain cognizant of the potential financial struggles of the community.

“My philosophy on the priorities of the school budget would have to be … maintaining programs and opportunities for our students while also looking through the community’s eyes,” Lovell said, “especially during this hardship that many of us are experiencing with COVID-19. So I do support the budget that has been put forward …. 

“I’m also a member of the budget advisory committee,” Lovell went on, “so I’ve really been through the many months of the budget planning and have seen the work that Dr. Mundell and [Business Executive Terrence] Blanchfield have worked on to really create a sound budget while also taking input from many different stakeholders that are part of our budget advisory committee which includes community members, teachers, board members, [and] administration.” 

 

Chain of command

Lovell asserted that, for her, accessibility to taxpayers is an important component of school board membership, and that her status as a parent, teacher, and resident allows for that accessibility. 

“I try to be available through whatever platform works best for the community and the individual who might need to contact me,” Lovell said. “So, if they’re more comfortable through text or through email, as opposed to face-to-face interaction or a phone call, I am very flexible with that.

“I’ve spoken to many people at school-wide events or through a volunteer opportunity,” Lovell continued. “I’ve had somebody message me, I’ve spoken to somebody after they left a voicemail ... So being flexible with my availability has really seemed to help all different people who might want to reach out to me depending on what their comfort level is for communication.”

As for balancing objectives, Lovell said that, while she’s yet to encounter a scenario where there are firmly opposed interests between the superintendent and the taxpayers, she would, hypothetically, defer to the district’s organizational chart — which places the board of education above the superintendent in terms of authority — and “have a conversation that way.” 

Still, Lovell said, “I really feel that Dr. Mundell is here for the community and the school district.” 

More Hilltowns News

  • ALBANY COUNTY — On May 18, musician Wally Jones will perform at the Gallupville Methodist Church,

  • The Carey Institute for Global Good had jettisoned much of its core programming during the pandemic years while it figured out its own future. It has now changed its name to Hilltown Commons, and partnered with three different local organizations that now call its Rensselaerville campus home. 

  • Over his nine-plus years as Berne-Knox-Westerlo’s superintendent, Timothy Mundell has led the district through significant challenges, helping to establish a much stronger foundation for the next superintendent than he had coming in. 

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