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Brian Casey sworn in as South Colonie school board president

After being nominated by former South Colonie Central School District Board of Education President James Tim Ryan, Brian Casey was sworn in to the president's seat at the board's organizational meeting Tuesday, July 7.

Ryan had served as president since 2005 but decided to step down from the position after he was re-elected to the board in the May election with 1,640 votes. Ryan recommended former vice president Casey to take his place, as well as Leonard Motto for vice president.

Ryan said the board president typically holds the seat for two years, at which time he or she steps down and the vice president moves up. Ryan served as board president from 1998 to 2001 and 2005 to 2009. Ryan also served as vice president for four years.

"There's nothing in the policy, but [typically] the president serves for two years," he said. Ryan said he has decided to give up his spot this year because of "extenuating circumstances."

This past term, Ryan said he stayed on as board president because the district welcomed a new superintendent of schools, Jonathan Buhner. Ryan wanted to ease the transition for Buhner so he continued as board president.

Casey has been involved with the district for many years, serving as Colonie Central High School's first school resource officer and a D.A.R.E. officer throughout the district. The 2009-2010 school year will be Casey's fifth year on the board. Casey said his reason for running for the board, and for seeking the presidency, was that he wants to ensure the students of the future have the same quality of education that his three children received in South Colonie.

"I've worked in the schools, and I'll look at the school as a construction area," Casey said, making the analogy that when someone is in a construction zone and they shout out to someone asking for a screwdriver, they should not be thrown a hammer.

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