Falconer School Board Meets Candidates

The Falconer Central School Board of Education met with three possible candidates who are being considered to a board vacancy. P-J Photo by Jordan W. Patterson

FALCONER – Candidates vying for consideration to fill the vacancy currently facing the Falconer Central School Board of Education met with board members during Tuesday’s meeting.

At the Nov. 6 meeting, the 7-member board approved a resolution that vacated Jennifer Olsen’s position. Citing absences and public statements indicating her intention to resign, the board stated it was operating within state and board law to vacate her position. School boards are given 90 days to fill a position from the date it was vacated. During that meeting, Superintendent Stephen Penhollow told the board it could either appoint a candidate, with varying options as to who that could be, or hold a special election within the given 90 days.

At the Nov. 21 meeting, the board agreed to move forward with the appointment option and hold open session interviews with possible candidates.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the board met Tracy Schrader, Laurie Reynolds and Marcella Centi who all submitted letters of interest for consideration of the open board position. All candidates have some background in education and are residents of Falconer.

Schrader is a Southwestern Central School special education teacher and has taught there for 22 years. She cited her educational background at Southwestern as reasons why she would be an ideal person to fill the vacancy. She said her interest in becoming a member carries no agenda as she supports administration, teacher and board of education.

Laurie Reynolds works at Chautauqua Alcohol and Substance Abuse Council, a prevention agency in Jamestown. She said her inspiration to become a board member stemmed from her desire to continue advocating for children in general as she does in her current role at CASAC. Reynolds said her relationships within the district would allow her to better navigate as a board member. With an additional background in education, Reynolds said she wants to be an advocate for teachers as well.


Marcella Centi emphasized role of creativity within a board of education as an aspect she would provide if she was selected to be the board member. Centi has been a teacher in the Jamestown Public Schools District for 14 years. She cited her educational background as giving her a unique perspective as to how the educational system works.

All candidates, if selected, indicated they would run for one of three board positions up for vote in May.

A board member will either be appointed at the following Dec. 18 meeting or the Jan. 15 meeting. The timeline is dependent on how long the board needs to choose a candidate. The Dec. 18 meeting is also available for additional candidate interviews.

Separate from the open session interviews, the board discussed phase one of the ongoing capital improvement project being planned in the district. At the meeting, the board approved the construction contract bid of $3,524,050 to Lake Shore Paving. The approved bid would impact the middle and high school and Fenner Elementary School.

Penhollow also updated the board on the capital outlay project totalling $100,000. The state allowed project will be utilized for replacing carpeting in the high school media center and any money left over will be directed toward updating the weight room flooring.

In other news, the board approved the merger of Boys Varsity Football with Cassadaga Valley Central School for the 2019-20 school year.