Susquehanna Valley

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Board of Education candidates

In addition to considering our proposed budget and bus purchase proposition, when you go to the polls May 18, you wil be asked to vote on candidates for the Susquehanna Valley Board of Education. Three incumbent candidates, Robert Strick, Jack Bell, and Mark Leighton, have announced they are seeking re-election to the Board. The candidates have submitted bios, which are presented here:
Robert Strick
My name is Robert Strick and I am a resident of the Town of Binghamton. I moved here with my family in 1994 because of my desire to have my children attend the Susquehanna Valley Schools. I was very pleased with their success and felt an obligation to serve the district as a result.
I was honored to be elected to the Board of Education nine years ago and chosen to serve as board president by my fellow members. During this time we have faced numerous challenges. I feel that my experience as a parent, taxpayer and local business person have enabled me to have a broad perspective and common sense approach to address the issues at hand within the district.
With the ever present financial pressures and increasing changes mandated by the State Education Department it is more critical than ever to have a school board that is insightful, engaged and responsible to deal with these issues. It is my hope that the voters will allow me to continue my work in an effort to provide our current and future students with the same high level of educational opportunity that my children enjoyed here at Susquehanna Valley.
Jack Bell 
My wife Carol and I have been residents at 21 Wilbur Way in Conklin since moving here in January of 1976. Both of us were raised in Indiana, Pa. where I graduated from Indiana University of Penna. in 1969 with a BS in Business Management. After spending two years on active duty with the United States Naval Reserve, we moved to Waterbury, Ct. and I began my 34 years career with Sears Roebuck and Company.
I worked in the downtown Binghamton Sears store from 1976 until the store relocated to the Oakdale Mall in 1978 and served in various management capacities till my retirement in 2002. During that period, my wife Carol not only taught for seven years at the Conklin Preschool but later taught kindergarten at Brookside Elementary for a bit over 20 years. Looking for something to do after retiring from Sears, I thought I'd give substitute teaching a try and began my “2nd career” in 2002 and continued for 16 years, mostly at the Middle School and occasionally at the high school. (it's difficult to remember trigonometry from 1965!). I immensely enjoyed the kids and working with teachers, administration, cafeteria, and the custodial staff in our school system!!!
Prior to being a substitute teacher, I was a volunteer wrestling coach assistant with Mssrs. Gerlach, Schuster, and Cleary. In the Spring, I enjoy working at golf camps for kids both in Windsor, NY and Montrose, Pa. Three years ago, I decided to run for the school board. I feel my experience in management at Sears, 16 years of substitute teaching, and the past three years on our school board afford me credentials some folks aren't fortunate enough to have. Further, my budgeting and finance tracking
experience both at Sears as well as at Conklin Presbyterian Church have served me well as a school board member.
Most importantly, striving to live by the “Golden Rule” will serve anyone well. I do my best to live that way. I consider myself a reasonable conservative here in our school district and humbly ask for your vote to serve another three years. Hope to see you at the budget vote on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.
Mark Leighton 
Hi, My name is Mark Leighton and I live on Morgan road with my wife, Karen, and my four children, Daniel, Katie, (both attend SV High School, and Emma and Abigail, who both attend Richard T. Stank Middle School. We have lived in the district for ten years now, but my family has owned land in the Town of Binghamton for over 50 years. We now live on that family land.
I have been in sales for many years. The past six years have been is the commercial tire industry. Being in sales has given me many great qualities. The most important being the ability the listen to the needs and concerns of my customers while searching for the solutions that fit. Being a problem solver for business is very rewarding in the sense that I am not simply selling tires but finding savings and keeping business moving.
I would like to continue to take my life experiences and apply them to the BOE in SV. For we are in the business of education. As I learned in the first two terms on the Board, we can act as an advocate for the students while finding savings in the budget. I truly am thankful for being voted onto the Board six years ago and wish to continue the work yet needed to be done. Thank you and God bless. 
Susquehanna Valley Central School District - 1040 Conklin Rd. Conklin, New York 13748 - (607) 775-0170

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