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Board of Education Candidates

Two candidates are seeking a position on the Board of Education from the three open seats. Successful candidates will be elected to a three-year term beginning July 1, 2023. The School Budget Vote and Board of Education Election will be Tuesday, May 16, 12:00 – 8:00 pm at the Seneca Falls Central School District Operations Center on 2 Butler Avenue.

Joseph McNamara

Board Experience
Joe has been involved in the Seneca Falls Board of Education for more than 20 years and have been a member of the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES board of education for the past 10 years. Joe also currently serves as the Vice President of the 4-Counties School board Association. Joe first became active when asked to be a Parent, Community and Small Business Representative to the 2004-2005 Seneca Falls-Waterloo Merger Study, where he facilitated town hall meetings exploring a potential district merger. Joe was asked to assist the Board of Education by participating on Community Finance Advisory Committee from 2006-08. Joe was elected to the SF Board of Education in 2008. Joe served as Vice-President of the Board from 2009-2012 and was elected President from 2012-2019 and again in 2022-present. Joe takes a proactively supportive role in helping the district’s administrative team manage large-scale projects and planning. Major projects during his tenure have included multiple merger studies, capital
projects, and hiring an incoming superintendent. Joe continually attends regional training sessions on leadership and budget oversight. He has worked to expand the SF Board’s role in advocacy and collaboration through NYSSBA, 4-Counties School Board Association, and the Rural Schools Association. In addition, Joe strives to build school and community connections and resource-sharing among all stakeholders in public education, with the ultimate goal of providing students with the educational experiences and opportunities that will enable them to attain the skills and aptitudes necessary for success throughout their lives.

Interest in Seneca Falls Board Seat
Joe would like to continue his work in expanding the essential role of facilitating collaboration and communication between the school and community, as a member of the Seneca Falls Board of Education. As he is also a board member of Wayne Fnger Lakes BOCES, Joe has an opportunity to assist in maximizing academic programs and specialized support services necessary to enable all students of our community adequate opportunities to attain current skills and develop skills they would need in the future.

Joe’s experience, supportive leadership style, communication skills fit with the Seneca Falls Central School’s vision and mission. Joe believes his record as a BOE Member at the local and regional levels and my passion for supporting and strengthening our educational system would continue to be beneficial to the Seneca Falls Board of Education. As a father of five with experience in agriculture, transportation, finance and service industries, large and small business management, self-employment, advocacy, mediation and community service, Joe would like to further extend his support of public education at the local level, where he truly enjoys watching our students flourish, celebrate their successes, and graduate with employable skills and their own sense of self and direction for their future.

Professional Development Experience
2017                NYSSBA School Board University: Board Lifetime Achievement
2015                Presentation assistance at NYSSBA Annual Convention and Rural Schools Association 
                         Annual Convention
2014-2015      NYSSBA Board Advocacy Award Recipient with Seneca Falls BOE
2013-Present Rural Schools Association
                          Wayne Finger Lakes Board of Education
2012-Present Board Officers Academy (also 2010)
                          NYSSBA Annual Convention & Educational Expo
2010-Present NYSSBA Webinars
2009-Present Statewide School Finance Consortium
2008                 Fiscal Oversight-Governance Workshop
1998-2000      Center for Dispute settlement-Certified Mediator

Cara Lajewski

I am seeking re-election to the Seneca Falls Central School District Board of Education because I believe I have made, and can continue to make, positive contributions to our district.

I have had the privilege of serving on the Board since 2016. During that time, I have learned so much about our school district, public education, State Ed and Education Law. I have been an active participant on the board, engaging in professional development through the New York State School Board Association (NYSSBA), 4-County School Board Association and Rurals Schools Association of NY.

During my tenure as a board member, I have participated on our Policy, Scholarship, Benefits, Audit and Facilities committees. I served as Board Vice-President in 2019. Serving as Board President from 2020-2023, I was an ad hoc member of all committees, continuing to be fully engaged and committed to the progress of our district, while also staying current on education and school matters. I have participated on the District Steering Committee since before I started serving on the Board, and am now also a member of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, as well as our Safety Committee.

When my husband and I were looking to relocate almost 11 years ago, we chose Seneca Falls because of the strength of the school district. Raising two daughters in this district, I have been proud to be an active volunteer, first through the classrooms and PTO, and now on the school board. I know a strong school district makes for a stronger community.

I would be honored to be re-elected and to continue working for our community: to continue to support our teachers and staff in doing the work they love; to continue to support our students in their preparation for the future; and, to continue to build upon the strengths of our district.