On Tuesday, May 16, Cohoes voters will elect two members to the Board of Education. The board is made up of seven volunteer citizens who are each elected to serve three-year terms. The board election and budget vote will be held at the district’s three elementary schools from noon to 9 p.m. The following information was provided by the candidates. The candidates are listed in the order in which they will appear on the ballot, which was determined by a random drawing.
Branden Guy has lived in Cohoes for the last eight years, where he and his wife are raising their three children who currently attend Abram Lansing Elementary School. He has learned about the importance of child advocacy by navigating the process for his special needs child who has an IEP (Individualized Education Plan). He believes that education is one of the best tools a city or town has to move a community forward and uplift families into better positions.
Throughout his life Branden has experienced the impact of mentorship and tutoring and he would like to expand those opportunities for the next generation.
“If I am fortunate enough to be on the board, I would like to be an added voice in continuing to help improve the Cohoes City School District for all its students. I believe in community building and creating a network for students to be able to thrive and succeed. I hope to bring some new ideas and perspectives to the board and build connections that will help serve the community and students.”
Margaret Giller has served on the Cohoes City School Board for seven years; the last two as the current president. A lifelong resident of Cohoes, she has worked in education for nearly 20 years, starting out as a lunch monitor at Van Schaick Grade School and working her way up to her current role as chief information officer for the Ballston Spa Central School District.
She and her husband raised four sons who went through the Cohoes school system. Margaret has volunteered in many capacities including on the PTA, PTO, Wrestling Booster Club, Baseball Booster Club, Track Booster Club and Football Booster Club. She has also served on the Board of the Elks Auxiliary and is an active member of the Polish American Association and the American Legion Auxiliary.
“I have developed a strong belief that in order to build a stronger community, we all have a duty to provide our time, our talents and our passions to the community; specifically to our kids, which motivates me to continue to serve on the Cohoes City School District Board of Education. I will also work to ensure that our district is in compliance with the law and to help develop policies and budgets that stay within those legal requirements. It is my goal to continue to ensure that all students get a high quality education and are prepared to chase their own dreams, and the hard work it takes to accomplish them.”
David Jarosz was born and raised in Cohoes and has spent his life within a few blocks of West End Park (Monument Park). He previously owned Pop’s Pizza.
He is a volunteer for Cohoes Pop Warner Football, where he also serves as cheer president, and coaches Cohoes Little League and CYO basketball. David and his wife have five children in the district; two at Cohoes Middle School and three at Abram Lansing Elementary.
“Interacting with several teachers from different schools, I have learned about the many challenges our school system is facing and want to be an asset for the school board moving into the future. I would bring a friendly disposition, a collaborative mindset and a willingness to listen. I only want what’s best for our kids and this wonderful city that we all call home, and I would love the opportunity to help serve our community on the Cohoes City School Board.”
George E. Primeau Jr.
George Primeau Jr. is a lifelong resident of Cohoes and a graduate of CHS. He spent a few years after college as a graphic designer before becoming a Cohoes firefighter, where he has served for the last 17 years, rising to the rank of lieutenant. He has a blended family with his girlfriend that includes six children in the district (one in the high school, two in the middle school, two at Abram Lansing and a future UPKer).
George is involved in youth sports, managing or coaching many teams over the years, and has been active on several boards, such as Cohoes Little League and Cohoes Rec Soccer. His family also owns Collision Shop where he manages the front office.
“From my involvement in youth sports I’ve learned a lot about this generation. I plan to be an advocate not only for the taxpayers, but most importantly for the students. With my involvement in the family business and holding several union executive board positions, I can offer knowledge on business, budget and labor law.”