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Summary and Sample Ballots for Budget Votes and Board of Education Elections to be Held on May 17 in Each Lewis County School District


Published: May 14, 2022 at 08:45 p.m.

By: Nick Altmire


Lewis County, NY- Budget votes and board of education elections will take place across the state on Tuesday, including the five districts that are located within Lewis County. A summary for each district is included below, along with each district’s sample ballot.



Polls open 1 PM to 8 PM in the BRCS Auditorium


2022 Beaver River Central School Sample Ballot


2022 Beaver River Budget Newsletter


Voters in the Beaver River district will be voting on a $19.1 million budget, which includes a 4.9 percent increase in appropriations from last year. If approved, district taxpayers would see a 2 percent increase in the tax levy. There will also be a proposition on the ballot seeking to increase the annual funding for the Croghan Free Library by $5,000, to a total of $50,000 annually.


There are four candidates vying for one seat on the board of education. The seat is being vacated by Samuel Chamberlain, current board president, who is not seeking re-election. The following profiles for the four candidates were included in the school newsletter:


Mr. Andrew Chartrand, is a hydroelectric power plant operator and has three children who attend or will attend the district Stepson Owen (12th grade), Quinn (Pre-K), and Noah who will attend Pre-K in the Fall. Andrew graduated from Beaver River Central School and also from the Universal Technical Institute. Andrew believes the biggest issue currently facing our district is the lack of indifference with teachers and counselors voicing and teaching their political views. A school is a place of education, not a place for some teachers to push their views on students. A school should be neutral ground across the board.


Ms. Jessica Clemons, is a sales manager, and has two children attending the district, Elodie (2nd grade) and Jemma (5th grade). Jessica graduated from SUNY ESF with a B.S. in Environmental Studies, Clarion University, PA with a MLIS in Library Science and from Penn State University with a MGIS in Geo. Info Systems. She has been a Girl Scout Troop Leader and served as president for the NYLA Special Education & Academic. She currently serves on the board for Naturally Lewis LCDC. Jessica believes that A K-12 education is the most important foundation our society can provide to children. This should not be a burden placed solely on teachers' shoulders. It is the responsibility of our community to support, encourage, plan, and engage with each other to do the very best for our young people. Our biggest challenge going forward is preparing these students for a changing world. This includes offering paths for professional, trade, college bound, and those that need time to explore and consider various options. Every student should have the support they need to thrive at school and beyond. I want every child to feel supported and taken care of as individuals who are part of an inclusive community with health resources as readily available as extracurricular resources. I grew up in a rural community and understand how the school is a hub for many of us. I am a parent, active in the community, and have had various professional experiences leading organizations through change. I’ve taught at the college level, designed courses, contributed to accreditation efforts, and built financially sustainable programs that benefited students and faculty. My background in education and business will be a benefit to all in the district.


Mrs. Sloane Schweitzer, is a patient account clerk and has two children at home, McKinley (3 yrs. old) and John (1 yr. old). Sloane graduated from Beaver River Central School with a Regents diploma and attended Herkimer County Community College. Sloane believes BRCS needs to have more electives available for students to see what they are interested in and to prepare them for their future. Trade schools should be more encouraged along with practical classes for real life issues. The rules need to be enforced by all staff, not just a few appointed ones. I will fight for additional classes. We just need to be a more competitive educational school.


Mr. Jamie Zehr, my wife is Kimberly and we have 3 beautiful children who all attend Beaver River Central School. Hailey is in 6th grade; Drew is in 3rd; and Avery is in 1st. I graduated from Beaver River in 1992 and I have spent most of my 47 years residing in the Beaver River School District. We as a family are involved in our community and with our school- we attend and are actively involved with our local church; and our children are involved in various clubs associated with Beaver River (the musical, FFA, band, chorus, and various sports clubs). Beaver River Central School and the education of not only my children but all children is very near and dear to my heart. What is the most important issue facing our district? For me, it’s first and foremost that God has been removed and is being replaced with lies and perversions. Other issues facing us are: 1. Gender identity: I believe that biological males belong in boy’s lockers rooms/bathrooms; biological females belong in female locker rooms/bathrooms; and discussion cannot take place with a student without parental consent. 2. Curriculum: I strongly oppose Critical Race Theory (CRT). As a board member I would request to develop policy to ensure this isn’t discussed or taught at BRCS. Our students need more options provided to them academically. 3. COVID Concerns: Many new staff were added this school year. Concerns I have: What’s the long term plan for these new positions? Will our taxes increase to accommodate these new positions once COVID money is gone? I strongly oppose a mandatory COVID vaccine and masking our students. Both should remain personal choice between parent and child. 4. Athletic Fields and general maintenance: I would like to see more attention given our athletic fields and our campus. 5. Miscellaneous Concerns: Staff pushing their beliefs onto students. It is their job to teach, not to indoctrinate. Should I be elected as a board member, you can be assured I will advocate for the overall well-being of students at BRCS. I will be a voice for you and your child(ren) during a time when these voices have been mostly silenced.





Polls Open 12 PM to 8 PM in the Gym Foyer


2022 Copenhagen Central School District Sample Ballot


2022 Copenhagen Budget Newsletter


Voters in the Copenhagen Central School District will be voting on a $11,985,523 budget, which includes a $310,601 increase in appropriations compared to the current year. If approved, taxpayers in the district will see a 1 percent increase in the tax levy.


There is one seat up for election on the school board, with incumbent Alfred E. Tomaselli being the only candidate on the ballot. Mr. Tomaselli included the following message in the district newsletter:


It has been an honor to serve the Copenhagen Central School District as a BOE member since 2007. I would like to thank the Copenhagen community, teachers, support staff, administration, BOE members, and students for all the support, patience, and hard work that continually sustains and builds on the reputation of Copenhagen as one of the very best schools in the area. CCS has done very well with its very limited resources due to the

community support and exceptionally dedicated and qualified staff. The challenge is never over, but with your support, CCS will continue to overcome while providing students the best education and school experience possible. While I had three children graduate from Copenhagen and no longer have children attending the school, I am committed to utilizing my experience on the BOE in further support of the Copenhagen Central School District Students, Staff, and Community. I retired from the military in 2014 and have worked as a Teacher at a PK-12 school ever since, giving me additional insights into the challenges and issues.


I would be honored to continue to serve this great community as a member of the BOE.




Polls Open from 1 PM to 8 PM


2022 Harrisville Central School District Sample Ballot


2022 Harrisville Budget Newsletter- NOT AVAILABLE ON DISTRICT WEBSITE


Voters in the Harrisville Central School District will be voting on a $11,321,461 budget. There is one seat up for election on the school board, with incumbent Parish Atkinson running unopposed. Voters will also have two additional propositions to consider, one to purchase two new buses and the other proposing a $5,000 funding increase to the Harrisville Free Library. Harrisville does not any have budget documents /information or any recent newsletters available on the district website.






Polls Open 12 PM to 8 PM in the High School Auditorium


2022 Lowville Academy & Central School District Sample Ballot


2022 Lowville Budget Newsletter


Voters in the Lowville district will be voting on a $28,758,099 budget, which includes a 2.4 percent increase in appropriations from the current year. If approved, taxpayers in the district would see a 4.98 percent increase to the property tax levy. There are also proposition on the ballot to purchase three new school buses and a proposal to increase funding to the Lowville Free Library ($20,000 increase to a total of $100,000 annually) and William H. Bush Memorial Library in Martinsburg ($5,000 increase to a total of $40,000 annually).


There are three schools board seats up for election, with each of the three incumbents having challengers to their re-election bids. The seat currently held by James Farquhar is being challenged by Charlotte Sullivan. Incumbent candidate Stephanie Houser-Fouse is being challenged by Jonathan C. Gillette, and the seat currently held by Amy Marti is being challenged by Dr. Raymond F. Higby, Jr. The following profiles for each of the candidates were included in the school newsletter:


Board of Education Election


The Lowville Academy Board of Education is made up of nine trustees who serve three year terms. Board members serve as the community’s representatives in all matters of instruction, operations and finance and are assigned to several committees. Each year, three Board of Education seats are up for election. This year, there are six candidates running for three board seats. Current board members Mr. James Farquhar, Mrs. Stephanie Houser Fouse, and Mrs. Amy Marti are running for reelection.


Mr. James Farquhar of Pine Grove Road is completing his seventh year as a member of the Board of Education. Throughout his time on the Board, Jim has served as a member of the elementary, middle school, and transportation committees. Mr. Farquhar works for the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation-Wildlife Division in Albany. Jim and his wife Lori have two children who are graduates of LACS.


Mrs. Stephanie Houser Fouse is seeking re-election for her third term as a member of the Board of Education. Mrs. Houser Fouse has served as a member of the policy, personnel, elementary, middle and high school committees throughout her time on the Board. Stephanie works at Lewis County Public Health. She and her husband Benjamin run a small farm on the Rector Road where they live along with their two children who are students at Lowville Middle School.


Mrs. Amy Marti is seeking re-election for a second term as a member of the Board of Education. Mrs. Marti has served as a member of the personnel, transportation, elementary and middle school committees throughout her time on the Board. Mrs. Marti has served children and families in Lewis County for the past 32 years and currently serves as the Executive Director for Lewis County Head Start. She and her husband Mark have two children who are graduates of Lowville Academy.


Mrs. Charlotte Sullivan is running for the board seat currently held by Mr. James Farquhar. Mrs. Sullivan and her husband Jacob have two children who attend Lowville Elementary School. Mrs. Sullivan is a wife, mother, hostess at Jeb’s and an administrator for ALCCL. Mrs. Sullivan’s interest in serving on the board is “simply because our children and teachers need to be heard, and I want to listen and be the voice that speaks up for them. I also love our hometown and want to be a part of our flourishing school.”


Mr. Jonathan Gillette is running for the board seat currently held by Mrs. Stephanie Houser Fouse. Mr. Gillette is employed with Pioneer Seeds and lives in Lowville with his wife Kasia and 3 children who are students at Lowville Academy. When asked of his interest in serving on the school board, Mr. Gillette replied “I am looking to be more involved with my children’s education. I will strive to have an educated opinion and make rational decisions that will best serve our community.” In his free time, Mr. Gillette enjoys snowmobiling and spending time with his family on the lake.


Dr. Raymond Higby, Jr. is running for the board seat currently held by Mrs. Amy Marti. Dr. Higby is the owner of Complete Care Chiropractic in Lowville. He and his wife Ria have one son who is a student at Lowville High School. Dr. Higby is a 1987 graduate of Lowville Academy. He is also involved with Boy Scout Troop 162 and is a board member of Double Play. He states his interest in serving on the board is to “help students be successful in their learning and experiences in school and to become more engaged in serving the community”.





Polls Open 12 PM to 8 PM in the High School Music Suite


2022 South Lewis Central School District Sample Ballot


2022 South Lewis Budget Newsletter


Voters in the South Lewis District will be voting on $28,540,102 budget, which includes a 1.93 percent increase in appropriations. If approved, taxpayers in the district will see a 1.95 percent increase to the property tax levy. There will also be propositions on the ballot to purchase three new school buses and a proposal to establish a new 10-year capital fund not to exceed $5 million.


There are three candidates vying for two school board seats up for election. Incumbents Andrew Liendecker and Dawn Ludovici are seeking re-election, while challenger Sarah Metott is trying to secure one of the seats. The top two vote getters among the three candidates will earn seats on the board. Profiles for each of the three candidates, published in a flier on the district website, are included below:


Andrew Liendecker:  I grew up in Lyons Falls where I attended Lyons Falls Elementary and graduated from South Lewis Middle/High School. After graduation, I took some college classes in Computer Science and Programming and then enlisted in the United States Navy. I was stationed for four years on the Aircraft Carrier USS Coral Sea CV-43 in the Mediterranean Sea. After completion of my military service, I worked as a graphic artist designing advertisements for the Watertown Daily Times and the Journal and Republican. In the summer of 1994, I moved to Prescott Valley, Arizona, and worked at Ruger sandblasting pistol frames until I began my career in HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning). After living in Arizona for 14 years, my wife, Michele, and I moved back to the North Country with our daughters, Abigayle and Izabelle. We felt that it was time to return to our roots, to be nearer to our families, and to raise our girls in the quiet, rural setting that we had known and had grown to appreciate. We now reside in the Village of Turin, and I commute to my Sackets Harbor office at Lawman Heating and Cooling, where I have been employed as an HVAC Project Manager since 2008.


In 2012, I was elected to the South Lewis Board of Education and currently serve as its President. I feel that my past experiences and accomplishments provide a perspective and knowledge that has been helpful to the Board of Education and trusted by its members and stakeholders during my 10 years of service. I look forward to further representing the South Lewis community by working with the Board to establish policies that best serve the South Lewis School District.


Dawn Ludovici: Hello, my name is Dawn Ludovici, and I am running for a second term on the South Lewis School Board. My husband, Mike, and I have lived here for 26 years. I am retired after 34 years in education which included eight years serving the South Lewis CSD, first as Glenfield Elementary Principal and then as Director of Curriculum & Instruction. From 2004 until my retirement, I served as Assistant Superintendent of the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES.


Throughout my career, I have partnered with parents, school personnel, the State Education Department, and community/business leaders to develop and deliver cost-effective, educational programming for students, preschool-aged to adults. This year marks my 23rd year serving on the Lewis County Head Start Board. I am a member of the Glenfield United Methodist Church, where I have provided children’s programming. Through my membership in the South Lewis Lions Club, I have been able to assist children and adults in accessing eye exams/glasses, to conduct annual Pre-K/Kindergarten vision screening and to recognize South Lewis Falcon Scholars.


Over the last few years our school community has experienced some major challenges and at the same time achieved some major goals. As a board member, while considering varying public opinions as well as the board’s financial responsibility to our taxpayers, my primary focus has remained on providing South Lewis students with a well-rounded, high-quality education and any supports they have needed to experience success. I would consider it an honor to continue serving on the South Lewis Board of Education.


Sarah Metott: Hello, my name is Sarah (Kraeger) Metott, I was born and raised in Constableville and attended SL until graduation in 2003. I left the area for higher education and employment opportunities and brought those experiences back in 2011 to settle down and raise my family in the place my husband, Mike, and I have called home. We have two children, Olivia (5) and Lane (3). I currently work for the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome NY and established a small business in 2019 as an Architect supporting small commercial and residential projects in the area. I enjoy the outdoors, camping, running, and crafting. I love to be involved in the development of children and their futures. I am the Chair of the Policy Council and Treasurer and Secretary of the Parent Committee of Lewis County Head Start, being involved for the last two years. I enjoy being active in the community and serve as the Secretary of the Moose River Fish & Game Club. Additionally, I serve on the Lewis County Planning Board which began January of this year.


I am interested in becoming a member of the SL BOE because Olivia will begin her SL education in the Fall and Lane in a couple years. I felt now is a great time to start to be part of their education, learn and better understand the district and educational goals and be a spokesperson/liaison between the community, parents, teachers and the BOE. I look forward to the opportunity to serve the community in another capacity and supporting the hardworking educators and support staff that make SL great. Thank you all for your consideration as a candidate!








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