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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 30, 2008

Running for re-election?
Two yeas and one maybe from incumbents

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

GUILDERLAND — Two of the three school board members whose terms come due this year said they will seek re-election. The third, school board President Richard Weisz, is undecided.

The nine school-bard members serve three-year terms and are unpaid. Voters elect three members each May at the same time they vote on the school budget.

Controversy rocked the district this summer as students and community members protested the transfer of two teachers, some of them saying they’d make their views known at election time. A student group formed during the controversy is advocating against the budget unless its demands are met. (See related story.)

All three of the incumbents support the as yet undeveloped budget.

Hy Dubowsky and Denise Eisele, who were defeated in their first bid in 2005, campaigned as a team in 2006 and won.

Dubowsky, who is being treated for lymphoma, said this week that he plans to run for a second three-year term. 

“This gives me satisfaction,” he said. “It’s been a heck of a three years. The whole technology initiative leads us to our next step. We’re a well-endowed district. We’re in bad times, of course, but we’re pretty stable.”

While other board members urged caution last week while setting budget priorities, Dubowsky recommended forging ahead. (See related story.)

Dubowsky works for the state’s Department of Labor as the economic development director. He holds five academic degrees: a bachelor’s degree in political science from City University; a master’s degree in urban studies, also from City University; two master’s degrees from New York University — one in public administration and finance, and the other in philosophy; and a doctor of philosophy degree in finance, policy, and organization from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service.

Dubosky and his wife, Carol Kaelin, have three children, two of them Guilderland graduates and the youngest a student in the high school. The Dubowsky family lives on Highland Drive in Guilderland.

Denise Eisele gave an enthusiastic “yes” when asked if she planned to run again.

“I have enjoyed my three years on the board,” she said. “The people on the board are totally committed to…helping the students be the very best human beings they can be.”

She went on to say she liked working as part of a team with other board members, teachers, parents, and administrators on the education of students.

“The board members are so committed,” she said. “I feel very honored to be on the board.”

She also said, “My kids are very aware I’m on the board and are proud of me.” It teaches them about civic responsibility, said Eisele.

Eisele, a registered nurse, is a graduate of Glens Falls High School and the Albany Medical Center School of Nursing.

She lives on Stafford’s Crossing, in North Bethlehem, with her husband, George, who is a physician. The couple has six adopted children.

Richard Weisz has served three terms, nine years altogether, on the board and is currently its president.

He said yesterday that he hasn’t yet decided if he’ll run again.

“It depends on if I feel I can help the district go forward,” said Weisz.

Referring to the state’s fiscal crisis, he said, “If state aid is a struggle, I think I could help. That’s what I do for a living.” Wiesz, who is a lawyer, said, “I help people with limited resources.” He said he represented a lot of debtors and worked with commercial restructuring.

He had originally thought that three terms was enough but may reconsider, Weisz said. He bore the brunt of criticism for the school board during the packed meetings this summer as the board met in executive session to hear about the transferred teachers in private, while the crowds in the meeting hall objected.

Weisz said the controversy is “not really” a factor in his decision whether or not to seek a fourth term.

Weisz concluded, “I really care for the district. I care for the community.”

He is a partner in the Albany office of Hodgson Russ, LLP. He has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a law degree from Albany Law School.

He is married to Diane Rosenbaum-Weisz; they have two children, both Guilderland graduates. They live on Mohawk Trail.

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