Share this article

print logo

2 teenagers challenge incumbents in race for 3 School Board seats

Two veteran incumbents and two neophytes are running for seats on the Depew Board of Education.

The top two vote-getters will serve three-year terms. The third will fill the one year left on the term of board member Timothy Schunk, who announced his resignation, effective June 30, because of increasing responsibilities of his job as a vice president at First Niagara Bank.

The veterans are board President Steven Carmina and Vice President Barbara Staebell, who are seeking their fourth terms.

Carmina, a certified public accountant with an office in Snyder, and Staebell, a senior staff assistant in the University at Buffalo's office of the chief information officer, both said they want to continue being part of the district's forward momentum.

Carmina said he is proud of always "delivering a responsible budget that has the support of the taxpayers."

Noting her strong support for the new superintendent, Jeffrey Rabey, Staebell said she wants to "follow through on the new capital project as we continue to upgrade the facilities to benefit our students."

District residents will vote May 17 on the budget, board candidates and a proposed $15 million capital project.

The newcomers are Courtney Celej, who graduates this June from Depew High School, and Michael Fusani, a 2010 Depew graduate. Both are 18.

Celej is a member of the executive board of the high school's Parent-Teacher-Student Organization and vice president of the Student Senate. She will be attending Medaille College this fall, majoring in biology.

She believes she is in a unique position, having firsthand experience of "what benefits the students the most."

Citing the district's acquisition of high-tech equipment like Smart Boards and iPads, Celej said, "They are being used, but not to the extent that they could be."

President of his class, Fusani was instrumental in the founding of a Depew High School chapter of the Distributive Education Clubs of America.

A student at Buffalo State College, where he is studying business and communications, Fusani is also a coach for the Saints Hockey Club, a rink guard for the Depew Village Recreation Department and runs a scrap broker business.

"It's time for a new generation of leadership," said Fusani, who believes he can offer a different type of thinking on what's best for the student population of all three schools.

There are no comments - be the first to comment