Alice Whalen of Coeymans is seeking her second term on the Board. A district resident for 35 years, Whalen recently retired from RCS, where she taught for 34 years. She currently serves on the Board's Curriculum and Education and Personnel committees.
Whalen holds a Master's of Science in Elementary Education from the C.W. Post College of Long Island University, a Bachelor's degree in American Studies from Marist College, and a graduate of Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, NY. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the Green County YMCA.
Whalen and her husband, Dennis, have three children, Emily, Philip and Daria, all RCS grads.
Asked why she wants to be a member of the RCS Board of Education, Whalen said, "I would like to be a member of the RCS Board of Education because I have the institutional knowledge and experience necessary to serve as a fair, articulate, informed and respected member.
"I have been a resident of the RCS community for over 35 years. I taught in the RCS school district for 34 years and had at least one child attending school at RCS every year from 1986 to 2007. I have worn the had of a taxpayer (and still do), and can understand the perspective and concerns of the members of our community; I have worn the hat of a teacher, and can relate to the anxieties and questions of our educators; and I have worn the hat of a parent, and can empathize with the anger, frustration and joys of many of our parents.
"The ability to identify with the various members of the overall RCS community while serving on the Board of Education is an opportunity I would love to have, particularly in the current fiscal environment. My experiences as a homeowners, teacher and parent in the district make me an ideal candidate for such an opportunity."
Sunilda "Suni" Swann of Maple Ave, Selkirk is seeking her first term on the Board of Education. A former RCS substitute teacher, Swann is currently a stay-at-home mom. She is a classroom parent, PTA member and regular school event volunteer in the district. Swann teaches children and women’s classes at Grace Fellowship Church and volunteers for Hudson Valley Little League. She held political office for the conservative party in Albany county and has participated in multiple mission trips, both foreign and domestic.
Swann Holds an Associates Degree in early childhood education from Boston Bible College, graduated the Salutatorian of Central Christian Academy high school, and studied psychology at Liberty University.
Swann and her husband, Roy, have three children, Roy Jr., who is currently a senior at RCS High School, and Justin and Seth, who both attend A.W. Becker Elementary.
Asked why she wants to be a member of the RCS Board of Education, Swann said, "I can sum the reason for this in one word: accountability. Accountability is the state of being responsible for or to someone; liable for one's actions. I cannot think of any greater undertaking than that of the responsibilities of being a parent. As a parent I am accountable to my three children and the education they receive. I am obligated to make sure the quality of education that is provided within our community district is one that is built upon a foundation of excellence, moral stability, and fiscal accountability.
"In addition, as a member of the RCS community I am compelled to serve the RCS school district. Understanding the magnitude of the mandates and the extent to which RCS employees must meet goals and the visions of not only NY lawmakers but the RCS school district, it is an absolute that community residents aid RCS school employees in achieving these objectives. Serving as a board member allows me the opportunity to assist the RCS school district in accomplishing these goals, making me accountable."
Howard “Bray” Engel, III of Maple Ave., Selkirk, is seeking his second term on the Board of Education. A lifelong district resident, Engel is employed as a teacher and coach at Averill Park High School and currently serves on the Board’s Finance and Personnel Committees. Engel is active in RCS Youth Soccer, the Bethlehem Tomboys, Hudson Valley Little League and St. Patrick’s Church.
He holds a Masters Degree in educational administration from the University at Albany, his teacher certification from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and a Bachelor's Degree in communications from SUNY Geneseo.
Engel and his wife, Sarah, have three children, Grace and Brady, who attend A.W. Becker Elementary, and Charlie, who is currently in preschool.
Asked why he wants to be a member of the RCS Board of Education, Engel said, "I have already served on the BOE since I was appointed in August and am looking to serve for another term. As a lifelong member of this community, with roots that go back for generations, I feel it is my civic duty to get involved in the educational process at RCS.
"I have three wonderful children of my own, and am running to help ensure that all of the children in the RCS district receive the best education possible from our school system. My education background, along with my dedication to this community, will afford me the best possible perspective from which to help oversee the operation of this district. RCS needs people with common sense and pride in the community on the BOE, and I feel I meet those qualifications."
Judith "Judy" Sylvester of Morehouse Road, Ravena, is seeking her first term on the Board. A district resident for 34 years and a former RCS teachers aide, Sylvester currently works as a principal clerk for the state of New York.
She is a member of St. Patrick's Church and the Ravena Grange, and serves on a number of public committees for RCSL: the Finance Committee, the Budget Committee, the Curriculum and Instruction Committee, the Special Committee on the Thatcher Street Building and the special education support group ACT.
Sylvester is a graduate of Whitesboro Senior High School
and attended D'Youville College. She and her husband, Jack, have two
daughters, both RCS graduates.
Asked why she wants to be a member of the RCS Board of Education, Sylvester said, "In the last several years, I have regularly attended Board of Education and committee meetings here in our district and have seen the dedication and hard work of our Board, administration and staff. As a Board member, I would like to work with all of them to continue to raise our graduation rate, and to preserve programming whenever possible. If elected, I will be an independent voice, working with everyone to maintain a quality, affordable education for every child in our district. I know that I can make a positive contribution to the RCS community."
Edward “Teddy” Reville of Maple Ave, Selkirk, is seeking his first term on the Board of Education. A district resident for 10 years, Reville is the Protective and Marine Coatings Manager for eastern New York, Vermont and western Massachusetts with the Sherwin-Williams Company.
Reville holds a Bachelor's Degree in business administration from Clarkson University and an Associates Degree in business administration from SUNY Cobleskill and is a graduate of Franklin Academy High School in Malone, NY.
He is a member of the A.W. Becker Parent-Teacher Association, serves as director, coaching commissioner and coach for the Ravena Soccer Club, coach for Bethlehem Tomboys and Hudson Valley Little League and is a member of St. Patrick’s Church.
Reville and his wife, Rebecca, have three children, Lauryn and Eddie, who attend A.W. Becker Elementary, and Cody, who is in preschool.
Asked why he wants to be a member of the RCS Board of
Education, Reville said, "I have now lived in the RCS school district for
more than 10 years. My wife has been a lifelong resident and is an RCS
graduate. I would like the opportunity to become a board member for RCS to
provide a positive educational experience for all of the children within our
district--to provide them the opportunity to dream and attain all of their
goals, which starts when they are young. We need to bring a positive
attitude back to the board, our schools, and our community, which needs to
rally together to be one. My experience and knowledge in business provides
me with the skills necessary to bring organization, a positive plan and,
most importantly, pride, back to our schools and our children, who deserve