Ogdensburg Board of Education President Frederick P. Bean is running for re-election this year, with voting scheduled for Tuesday.
Mr. Bean will be facing James P. King, a correctional officer at the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility and president of the Madill Elementary School Parent Teacher Association.
To me, this election is just as important as any election because I feel very strongly about this community and this school, Mr. Bean said.
A 13 1/2 year veteran of the board, Mr. Bean said he believes his experience is invaluable and he hopes to continue in a leadership role.
In particular, Mr. Bean said, the districts ongoing $57 million building project, the steady decline of enrollment and limited state funding are all issues that require informed leadership. For nine of his years on the board Mr. Bean has been president, a position he said he will seek again if he wins another term.
As a retired Ogdensburg Police Department sergeant, where he served for 36 years until 2011, Mr. Bean said he sees the school as the heart of the community.
For three years in the late 1980s and early 90s Mr. Bean served as the departments juvenile officer.
One of the best resources I had to help me keep young people off the streets was the school district, Mr. Bean said. The more you can keep them involved and active in good things keeps them off the streets and out of trouble.
Mr. Bean, a lifelong resident of Ogdensburg and a graduate of the district, said his decision to run again is due in large part to seeing the impact the school can have first hand.
His mother and wife both worked in the district for many years and his two daughters attended school in the city before going on to receive masters degrees in education.
I want to work to be sure that our children of today and the future receive the same quality of education that my children received, Mr. Bean said.
And Mr. Bean said his advocacy in Albany on behalf of the district illustrates his commitment.
Ive traveled every year to Albany to advocate on behalf of the district, he said. We find ourselves, like most high needs districts in the state, receiving insufficient state aid due to the states fiscal crises. I understand the state education system and how it works. I also understand politics and how to get things done within the system.
Mr. Bean also serves on the St. Lawrence-Lewis County School District Employees Medical Plan Board as well as the Board of Directors of the states Association of Small City Schools.
If elected again I will continue to advocate very aggressively with our state representatives to change the way New York funds its schools, Mr. Bean said. I will also continue to work towards forming a merger with local districts since I believe it is the right direction for us to go.
The polls are open Tuesday from noon to 9 p.m.