CHEERS - To an opportunity for public service. In May, candidates will run for election or re-election to several local boards of education. Yes, now is a challenging - some might say nerve-racking - time to run, but it's the time to give it serious consideration. There is a need to look closely at the type of candidates school boards need. The qualifications can be found on most school websites or the state Education Department site. One of the rules is that candidates cannot be employed by the board on which they serve or live in the same household with a family member who is a member of the same school board. Perhaps the restriction should go further. Family members of people working in a district should not run for school board in that district. A board member who has a relative working in the district may be more inclined to be sympathetic to staff members than to be objective, especially when it comes to budget matters, salaries and union negotiations. There is a potential for conflicts of interest that could affect board members' votes on vital issues. We need a good mix of school board candidates - parents, business people and those with a knowledge of the education field.
CHEERS - To the champions of spelling. Forty-seven fourth-through eighth-graders representing our local schools will be seated on the stage at Gloversville Middle School on Monday night. All 47 of them are champions, as they already hold the distinction of winning spelling bees in their schools. Now they are ready to compete in the 20th annual Fulton County Spelling Bee, and by the end of the night, one will win the honor of representing Fulton County at the National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. Congratulations to all Fulton County contestants.
CHEERS - To new guests. Come June 2, our area can give a warm welcome to members of the Adirondack Mountain Club when its annual National Trails Day event takes place at the state campground in Caroga Lake. Aren't we glad these campgrounds were saved from being closed a couple years ago? According to the local chapter's chairman, Jody Rothmeyer, 90 to 100 people will come to Caroga to enjoy a great place to hike, paddle or sit around a campfire. They also will give something to our area. During the weekend, they will volunteer their time to repair the Willie Wildlife Marsh Trail, where the boardwalks need work. Thanks, Jody, for inviting the group to our beautiful area.