A Message from 2020 Board Candidate Kerry Coleman-Herrick

On Tuesday, June 9th the Jamesville-DeWitt community will elect three new school board members, with seven candidates running for these positions. These candidates are Kerry Coleman-Herrick, Michael Gilbert, George Gross, Michelle Kielbasinski, David Leach, Steve Theobald and Christine Woodcock Dettor. The school budget vote and Board of Education election, typically held on the third Tuesday in May, was postponed and then ordered to be held via mail in ballot. RamPage has invited all seven candidates to use our publication as a platform to directly address our readership and share their qualifications as well as what they hope to accomplish if elected.

Jamesville-DeWitt became my home in 1985.  I am a JD alumna from the class of 2001.  I am passionate about education – it is my profession. Jamesville-DeWitt’s mission to create a life-long learner has manifested itself in me. As an alumna, educator, and mother, I am dedicated to serving our students, listening to our teachers and community members, and working on collaborative and innovative solutions so that all students within our district can reach their full potential.

I understand the scope and dedication that this position requires.  As a community member, I have regularly attended board meetings over the past year and a half.  I have listened carefully, shared in joy and accomplishments of the district, and questioned thoughtfully.  As a member of the board of education, I would continue to do so and use my position at the table to amplify the voices of our constituents: students, teachers, staff, families, and community stakeholders.

It takes bravery and an understanding of the task at hand to ask the hard questions.  I am a uniquely positioned candidate. Due to my profession, I required to be familiar with education law and regulations and to understand the best research- and evidence-based practices in education.  It is the responsibility of the board to establish and create policies for the district.  Our policies must be well written so that they do more than uphold the bare minimum of the law but meet JD’s standards for excellence.  It takes a person who is profoundly familiar and invested in the entire scope of education to ensure that our policies set up a practice that will best serve our students.  I am that candidate.

This position also requires ingenuity to think of creative solutions.  We can already anticipate reduced state aid, will need to support any changes necessary for a school model that is responsive to guidelines during the COVID pandemic, all while ensuring that our school has the resources to implement its strategic plan. During these uncertain times, we need brave innovators at the table to look at the challenges we face as a district head-on and come up with solutions.  As a special education teacher, I dedicate my life to these challenges.

Additionally, my experience as a Director for the YMCA of Greater Syracuse gives me the unique advantage of creating budgets where “we do more with less.” From fiscal management to instructional resources, our board should be compromised of leaders who will help Jamesville-DeWitt weather our current storm and come out stronger than we were before. I am that innovative leader.

I am uniquely qualified to help lead our district through my deep connection to our history, the compassion of my character, and the innovation that comes from an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the educational system.  Need more information? Connect with me so that I can earn your vote: kerry.a.coleman@gmail.com.

More Information:

Other candidate articles are located at https://jdrampage.org/

Detailed copies of the budget are available by contacting the district office. Residents are invited to attend the virtual budget hearing scheduled for Monday, June 1, 7:00 PM. 

Voting Ballots are available through the District Office and Due Back by 5:00 pm, June 9th, 2020. For more information call: (315) 445-8304 or email thauser@jd.cnyric.org

Complete candidate biographies and details of the budget proposal are available in the special edition of the JD Journal mailed to all district homes in April and reprinted online at:

JD 2020 – 2021 Proposed Budget inside Vote!

Max Fagelman, '22
Max Fagelman is the News Editor for Rampage. When he's not working on the paper you can find him doing photography or running on the track.