By CRISTINE MEIXNER
LONG LAKE -- There will be a race this month for a seat on the school board here.
Long Lake Central School District will hold its annual vote Tuesday, May 20, from 2-8 p.m. in the cafeteria. One person will be elected to a five-year term on the board of education.
Robert Keough's term on the board expires June 30. He was elected in August of 2013 to fill the remainder of Kristen Brosnan's term after she resigned.
Two men are running: Frederick D. Short and John Gocke. Gocke did not return an election questionnaire emailed to him April 23. He is the pastor of Long Lake Wesleyan Church.
Short, 66, is a graduate of Long Lake Central School and SUNY Potsdam, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Computer Science.
He has owned Short Ridge Landscaping since 2003. He has been an agent with Gillis Realty in Tupper Lake since 2011.
He was the math teacher and acting principal at LLCS (2003-06); a math / computer science teacher at Tupper Lake Central School District (1973-2003), an adjunct professor of computer science for several colleges while with TLCSD; a teacher at Adirondack Mountain School in Long Lake (1971-73) and math and science teacher at St. Lawrence Central in Brasher Falls (1970-71).
He is running for several reasons. "First and foremost, I'd like to help keep the school fiscally responsible and ensure its doors remain open. As an alumnus, native of Long Lake, business owner and taxpayer I understand how integral our school is to the heart and soul of our community. As an educator ... it is my firm belief that teachers and students, rather than politicians, big business and private enterprises, should drive education."
As qualifications he cites his 36 years of experience in the educational field as a teacher, coach and administrator. "I feel that with my local knowledge and diverse work experiences I can offer the board a variety of valuable skills," he says.
He attended four BOE meetings during the past year.
Short feels the top two issues facing the school are enrollment and its viability and stability.
"We have a wonderful school that offers a unique experience, and we need to ensure it stays that way," he says. "Hopefully, with potential development in the area with the Adirondack Club and Resort decision coming soon, as well as fiber optic broad band coming, we will see numbers improve. I'd like to help ensure that our students stay in the district ...
"With challenging fiscal times and pressures from Albany in regard to the Common Core standards, Annual Professional Performance Review evaluations and many other costly state mandates, it's critical that we meet the expectations placed on us while also maintaining the integrity and identity of our district."
If elected, Short says, "I'd like to keep the district fiscally responsible for the taxpayers while ensuring that we offer students an excellent educational experience; promote and enhance a positive work environment for our hard-working staff; and help bring local residents, business owners and organizations together to come up with inventive ways in which we can promote access and use of the school facilities for all community members."
His daughter, Noelle Short, is the 7-12 English Language Arts teacher at the school. She is in her fourth year teaching there.