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Six candidates vie for four seats in Guilderland

Colleen O'Connell

Biography:

My name is Colleen O'Connell and I have been a resident of Guilderland for fifteen years. My husband is Joe Scott, a municipal finance attorney. We have three children, Hannah, a senior, Nate, a junior at the high school and Noah, an eighth grader at the middle school. I graduated from Hamilton College and the University of Connecticut School of Law and practiced for 18 years as a civil trial attorney. I have been active in various PTAs, the cross country running and girls lacrosse booster clubs, St. Madeleine Sophie finance council and teaching religion for St. Madeleine Sophie.

What motivated you to run for school board? After 4 years on Citizens Budget Committee, I wanted to contribute something more to the district and ran in 2004. There is a significant learning curve in this position. I believe with my six years of experience, I can contribute to the district especially with respect to the new superintendent.

What skill set do you bring to the board? I believe I am an attentive listener whether involving our administration, presenters at public meetings or listening to concerned constituents on the telephone. As a former trial attorney, I believe I am a critical thinker and that I ask fair yet probing questions so as to resolve and explain issues.

If elected, what do you hope to accomplish? My first priority would be to help orient our new superintendent and assist in his or her transition to this key position. The more our new superintendent understands our Guilderland culture and expectations, the more successful he or she will be.

What is you opinion of the 2010-11 school budget? In unprecedented times, the district put together a budget that kept as much program as possible while keeping the tax rate down. I am proud of how transparent the process is, that the proposed budget was vetted by Citizens Budget and commented on by public comment and hundreds of emails.

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