FULTON, NY – After a tied vote in early July to determine the Fulton Board of Education president, the seven members of the board came to a decision at the August 14 regular meeting.
Robbin Griffin was elected to the position of board president.
Initially, Griffin received three votes in her favor from herself as well as board members Brenda Abelgore and Fallon Cooper at last month’s meeting. In contrast, former president David Cordone received three votes in his favor from himself as well as board members Tim Crandell and Nicholas DeGelorm III.
The tie breaking vote belonged to Lynn Lyons, who was not present at the meeting.
On Tuesday, all prior votes remained the same. Lyons cast the deciding vote in favor of Griffin.
Tim Crandell was elected vice president.
Taking the oath of office, the meeting officially welcomed board members Fallon Cooper and Nicholas DeGelorm III who were newly elected to the board in May 2018 as well as re-elected board member Tim Crandell.
Both new board members, Cooper and DeGelorm, are Fulton natives.
While neither have previously served on a board of education before, they both have experience serving on committees. Cooper serves as the vice-president to the Granby Parent Teacher group as well as the the board of Parents of Special Children while DeGelorm has experience serving on several committees in the military structure.
Both board members hope to use their experiences to bring a new perspective to the board.
Cooper, currently a medical coder for the Department of Veteran Affairs said, “I chose to run for the board of education because I am very passionate about our educational system. We have some amazing students and teachers in our district and I wanted to do my part to help them be the best that they can be. We also have our share of challenges in the district and I have a diverse background and wanted to be a part of the solution!”
DeGelorm, a retired Vietnam Era Navy veteran, said, “I chose to run to bring diversity to the BOE based on my life experiences. I have expertise in policy writing, safety and crime prevention (as a Police Officer), human resources (recruiting, equal opportunity, racial, ethnic, gender, religious discrimination prevention) as well as teaching Navy Leadership and Core Values.”
Both board members are former students of Fulton City School District.
DeGelorm attended Fulton’s G. Ray Bodley High School before enlisting in the Navy in the 1970s. His wife, Patti (Chirello) DeGelorm, a GRB graduate, is now a Reading Specialist at Fairgrieve Elementary School.
His children graduated from GRB and have both gone on to higher education. His son graduated from Binghamton University with a Bio-Chemistry degree and went on to the University of Buffalo to graduate as a Doctor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. His daughter graduated from Binghamton University with a Biology degree and is currently attending Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts.
“I feel it’s time to give back to the district that has served my family so well,” he said.
Cooper has three students currently enrolled in the FCSD and said she owes it to one of Fulton’s teachers for molding her into the person she has become.
“It was one of our own Fulton teachers that made a major impact on my life, mentoring me and building me to be the best person I can be. I truly believe one teacher can make a difference in a child’s life,” she said.
Each say they are excited to have a hand working with the district composed of hard-working administration and staff.
“I am really excited to work with a diverse group of people and get to know more individuals in our community. My goal is to improve the district for the students. To make sure their voices are heard and that we are putting them first. I hope to help in supporting our amazing teachers. Their hard work does not go unnoticed and we need to figure out what works best in each classroom and support that. This will directly benefit all of our students,” Cooper said.
“I love this city and our district and will do whatever I can to make it a better place!” she added.
“We have a devoted, hard working Administration,Teaching, and Support Staff within the District. They are dedicated to seeing every child succeed,” DeGelorm said. “I will have to take the approach of listening and learning before I can comment on any accomplishments I hope to achieve. I will need to listen to the voice of the employee, student and community. I come from a background of Total Quality Leadership and Management with an emphasis on constant improvement.”
For that reason, DeGelorm is most excited to see the continued success of Fulton’s students throughout his term on the board of education, he said.
Crandell was re-elected to serve a one-year term to fulfill a vacancy on the board. He has previously served a three-year term and well as another one-year term and has 10 years of experience on the Fulton Republican Committee.
He initially ran, and continued to run, for the board of education to gain knowledge and experience, and offer input on the district’s decisions, he said.
This year, he hopes to “get the budget under control.”
“We continue to run a one-two million dollar deficit, we can’t rely on the state every year,” he said.
However, he noted the many highlights of the district and his excitement to continue working off those.
“We’ve seen our graduation rate increase 20 percent in recent years, that’s a great accomplishment. We have great teachers now and I think we can continue to get the best teachers when we need them. I really enjoy working with the people on the board and addressing the issues. I look forward to another successful year,” he said.
The Fulton Board of Education meets every second and fourth Tuesday of the month throughout the school year at the Fulton Junior High School. Executive session begins at 6:30 while the regular meeting begins at 7:30 with an opening period for public comment upon sign up.
For more information, visit the Fulton City School District website.