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Meet the Board of Education

The Central Valley Central School District Board of Education is comprised of seven members, each elected to a three-year term.

Contacting board of education members: address email to boe@cvalleycsd.org. (A copy of the email automatically forwards to each board member.)

The current members are:

Kelly Rowland

Term expires June 30, 2020

Kristen RichPhoto of Kristen Rich

Term expires June 30, 2019

Kristen holds a Masters degree in Health Education from SUNY Cortland as well as a Bachelor of Science in Education from SUNY Cortland. She attended High School in one of the largest school districts in New York State on Long Island.

She has taught in the education field for 10 years in two very different school districts. One was a small, rural, financially challenged district and one was an enlarged city school district also in a financially challenged district with a diverse population that at one time housed group home students. Currently I am a stay at home mom raising our three active children.

She began getting involved in our community by volunteering her time as a member of the former Ilion School District Foundation. She became the recording secretary for the Central Valley Foundation and will remain on the Foundation as the board liaison. She has served on the AYSO board and was one of the first five female members of the Coliseum Soccer Club. She spent a great deal of time organizing the soccer club and managing their website.

What are the most important issues you believe face the Board of Education of the Central Valley School District?

One major focus is to help all of our Central Valley students reach the goals of our mission statement. It will take a huge commitment of all stakeholders involved to successfully prepare our students for their future. Topics such as realignment of the elementary schools, instructional models, an upcoming building project, curriculum development, student success, and giving our youth the life skills they will need to prepare them for their successful future will all be valuable areas for us to focus on.

As a school board member, I would like to represent the communities of Ilion and Mohawk and make sure their voice is heard. I am willing to give my time and effort and be part of a solution that is viewed as productive and positive for all students. I want to create a healthy environment for work and learning while maintaining strong ethical standards. I hope to establish an effective means of communication that can be a link from the community to the school. Positive partnerships between all stakeholders is imperative and it can only be done through building relationships through communication and working as a team to make our current mission become a reality.

She and her husband Jeremy have three children Reilly, Lucas, and Avery

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Travis Costin

Term expires June 30, 2020

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Matt DarrowPhoto of Matt Darrow

Term expires June 30, 2019

Matt was born and raised in Ilion and has lived in the school district his entire life. He graduated from the Ilion Jr/Sr. High School in 1995 with a Regents diploma and attended Herkimer County Community College where he received an Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He is currently employed as a Police Officer with the Ilion Police Department and has been in Law Enforcement for over 16 years. He is the owner of R.A.M Property Maintenance, which provides mowing and snow plowing services for residential and commercial customers.

Matt is the President of the Ilion Police Benevolent Association, a position he has held for two years. He is also the President of the Ilion Little League Baseball/Softball Organization and has been in that position for the last 4 years. He has volunteered as a coach for the Central Valley Intramurals Basketball Program, Ilion Pop Warner flag football program, Ilion AYSO soccer program, and Ilion Little League Baseball program. He is a member of the Ilion Elks Lodge. He has also served as a member of the Central Valley Foundation and was on the transportation committee for the proposed merger.

Matt is married and has three young children.

What are the most important issues you believe face the Board of Education of the Central Valley School District?

  • “Student achievement – I feel that we need to ensure that all our children have access to the programs and support they need to be able to achieve their full potential and that our teachers should be properly supported to offer students excellent instruction.”
  • “Lack of Communication — There needs to be more communication with the staff, parents, and community members. We need to develop trust and effective communication with all stakeholders by communicating a vision for the district and why the option that was chosen is the best balance of all the needs.
  • “Alignment of schools and consistency of curriculum — I feel we need to examine the alignment of our elementary schools. There are many factors that impact this issue and we need to figure out what is the best option for our students and staff. We should also need to have a consistency when it comes to the curriculum.”
  • “Transportation — We need to re-evaluate ways to ensure that students are not riding buses for long periods of time.”

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Photo of board member

Dan LaLonde

Daniel LaLonde

Term expires June 30, 2018

Dan graduated from Ilion ’75 and earned his accounting degree from Herkimer County Community College. He worked for several years as an assistant manager at the Ilion Big M. He then served as a professional firefighter/cardiac care technician with the Ilion Fire Department until ’92 when he was injured fighting a fire that ended his career.

He is a member of the Association of Professional Police and Fire Retirees of Upstate New York and a member of the Knights of Columbus. He has been a member of the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES Board of Education since 2004 and currently serves as its board president.

He and his wife Carole have three children.

What are the most important issues you believe face the Board of Education of the Central Valley School District? Here are several items that need to be addressed. We need to improve elementary reading and comprehension; this will raise test scores in all areas. The middle school has started with some project-based learning; this needs to expand to all grade levels. Project-based learning helps students develop learning, leadership and social skills. These skills will be invaluable for students to become critical thinkers and expand their academic excellence as they compete in this 21st century learning environment. Ultimately, our students must be career or college ready when they graduate from high school.

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Jane NorthPhoto of Jane North

Term expires June 30, 2019

Jane is a graduate of Ilion High School and Herkimer County BOCES Cosmetology class of ’79. She is owner and operator of her own business, Cut It Up North Salon. Jane has worked as a hairdresser for 37 years and has been self employed for the past 25 years. She is an active member of the Church of the Annunciation where she serves on various committees.

Jane was an active member of the Ilion Music Boosters Organization and Central Valley Performing Arts Org., where she served as Treasurer and then President. She believes performing arts are a necessary part of the school culture; students learn about the arts, as well as how to work together while gaining self esteem and creating growth.

Jane is married to her husband, Peter, and they have 3 grown children.

What are the most important issues you believe face the Board of Education of the Central Valley School District?

Working with administration and staff to move forward to achieve our important goal—to give all the students attending the district the best education opportunities. This will happen by:

  • Making sure the teachers and staff have the support they need.
  • Making the building project run as smoothly as possible, with the least amount of disruptions affecting the students and their learning environment.
  • Formulating and staying within our budget, so that the funds from the merger can be used to operate the school district far into the future.

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Photo of board member

Fred Schell

Fred Schell

Term expires June 30, 2018

Fred graduated from Mohawk ’85 and earned a degree from Herkimer County Community College ’87. He is the founder and owner of Better Homes & Transport, lnc., a dealer of manufactured housing.

He is member of the Mohawk Community Club. This is a club that supports the youth in the community as well as offers a scholarship to a graduating Central Valley senior.

He and his wife Anne have two sons.

What are the most important issues you believe face the Board of Education of the Central Valley School District? To team with the administration to make sure no child gets lost in the transition and will be able to take full advantage of this new opportunity; child placement for the elementary schools; making sure we have the right teacher in place teaching the right classes; formulating a budget to keep the teachers that are so valuable to us, giving the children the best education; advanced placement classes, extracurricular activities and sports while planning, saving, reducing debt and preparing the district for the years ahead once the incentive aid runs out; transportation; safety and security; continue to evaluate school policies for the students; and working with the transition teams to accomplish the team’s objectives.

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