TUPPER LAKE – There are two candidates running for a three -year term on the Tupper Lake Central School District board of education in Tuesday’s election – David Dewyea, who is running for reelection, and Korey Kenniston, who is seeking a board seats.
Both candidates grew up in Tupper Lake schools, had children in the district, and both said that if people like their ideas and methods, they should vote for them.
Kenniston said he has coached youth sports for about 10 years. During that time he talked a lot with the students and he said it helped him understand what makes them happy. That’s the valuable knowledge he says he wants to bring to the board.
After all, he says, happy children mean happy parents.
Kenniston said he has no issues with the current board. Dewyea is a friend and she won’t run to replace him, according to Kenniston, but she wants to be part of the process and “July.”
He ran for the board last year but failed to secure a spot against the two incumbents. This time, he said he was working harder on his campaign.
In the last election, he said there were only 338 voters. She was worried. Very low, he said. She wants to see more people involved in the school community.
The Tupper Lake community is trying to attract more residents and families, he said, and a good school district is an important part of doing that. When families are researching residential areas, he said parents are always looking at the school district.
He said he wanted to build “Tupper pride,” and believes that will start at school.
He wants the school to connect with families to improve transparency and increase student performance.
Kenniston said he cares about the kids and wants to see them want to go to school. To do that, he said the school needs to support programs they enjoy, such as athletics, trades programs and life skills courses. He said students can get good business training through BOCES, but he wants to see Tupper Lake offer more classes in its buildings.
He went to schools in Tupper Lake when he was young, and he knew what he enjoyed. He is involved in sports, school bands, theater and the National Honors Society.
Kenniston says he doesn’t neglect good teachers. She wants to listen to them and learn what they need to also be happy and successful in their school work. They know what they need most, he said.
He said he wants to make sure students feel safe at school, whether through an ongoing pandemic or the ongoing epidemic of school bullying.
Kenniston has two children in high school now, and his son and daughter graduated from TLCSD.
Dewyea will run for a third term because he says the board is still on “in the middle of things” and he wanted to see it.
He said the district has gone through the madness of the pandemic, and now, as things are back to normal, he is ready to take things that have stopped the pandemic.
When he first joined the board, he said, he didn’t know what a school board did, but he thought joining was a great way to learn. Now, six years later, he has learned a lot but he still feels the “junior boy” on the blackboard.
Dewyea said being on the board expands her knowledge of the community and helps her realize that many people have different opinions, but they’re not always wrong.
Sometimes it’s argumentative, he says, but they’re all there for one purpose – to give the town’s kids the best education they can.
Dewyea said being on the board is community service. It doesn’t work, but it does “full-time deal.” He said he thinks about the decisions he makes on the board every day.
Being on the board means being an example, he said. His actions and decisions reflect the district and community. This position is serious for him, he said.
The district will need a lot in the coming years, he said. It is difficult for the district to find and retain teachers.
Dewyea said she listens a lot, but also speaks to keep the community’s preferences in mind.
Dewyea said graduations are her priority. He graduated from TLCSD but he doesn’t remember his best – that was a long time ago, he said. But if he thinks about new graduates, they already are “Magic.”
Dewyea said she was already around the world “twice” during his time in the Marine Corps, but he chose to raise his children here. She has four children, all in district schools.
Voters will also vote on whether to approve the proposed $ 22.7 million budget, which would raise taxes just below the state tax limit. More budget information can be found at https://bit.ly/3wdhQG8.
Voters will also vote on a proposition to buy two new buses. The proposition, if approved, would allow the district to borrow money for the vehicles and repay its debt within five years. Debt for these bonds is included in the budget.
Voting at the Tupper Lake Middle-High School Library on Chaney Avenue is open May 17 from noon to 8 p.m.