A Message From 2020 Board Candidate Micheal Gilbert

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.

I am excited to announce my candidacy for the JD Board of Education. My family has lived in the district for the past 15 years. I have 2 daughters, Amelia graduated from JD in 2019 and Cora is finishing up 10th grade.

For more than 30 years, I have worked in human services, including foster care, group home, and hospital settings. In addition, I have worked as a school psychologist in the Syracuse City School District (SCSD) for over 20 years as well as an adjunct instructor at local colleges.  In 2000, I founded It’s About Childhood & Family, Inc., a non-profit providing social-emotional supports within our local communities.  During my professional career, I have had extensive experience with topics such as social-emotional learning, trauma, mental health, restorative practices, mindfulness, child development, and play.  In addition to speaking on these topics, I am currently involved with local, state, and national efforts related to increasing the awareness of and need for trauma informed support. 

During these challenging and uncertain times, it is even more critical to have school leaders that have a vision for and understanding of the true purpose of education.  I believe that my background includes that purpose and passion to realize that goal.  The school board has the responsibility of leading and setting the direction for the district.  I believe board members need to be transparent, responsive, and experienced.  They need to ensure that teachers and buildings have the resources and training necessary to provide a meaningful and enriching experience for all our children.  Our schools need to be a place that all students feel safe, welcomed, cared for, and that they matter.  They should promote and celebrate diversity, creativity, and the joy of learning.   They cannot be settings that are stressful and add to the anxious feelings already present in many of our students’ lives.  We need to make a commitment to equip our children with skills for life, such as being responsible, persistent, cooperative, empathetic and resourceful.  Our children must be, above all else, effective communicators able to manage strong emotions. Once we meet that goal, then the foundation will be built for future success.  Educators, parents, and students, especially now, need to be able to talk with one another and more importantly really listen to each other with open minds and hearts.  

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.