Board Election Candidates (2020-21)

Board of Education Election

Three (3) seats on the Board of Education are up for election on the June 2020 ballot. The terms of Stephen Brandow, Bernadette Gavin-Palmieri and David Infantino will expire on June 30, 2020. All three seats are three-year, non-paid terms ending in June 2023.

There are four candidates, who will be listed on the ballot in alphabetical order as follows (select three): Stephen Brandow, Bernadette Gavin-Palmieri, Steven LaFever, Claudia Zucker.

About the Candidates

Stephen Brandow (Incumbent)
No bio submitted

Bernadette Gavin-Palmieri (Incumbent)
Bernadette is a Mom of four children in the Cairo- Durham School District. She also is the Innkeeper of Gavin’s Irish Country Inn and Co-owner of the Irish Tea Shop in East Durham. She is an active member of the Sacred Heart & Our Lady of Knock Church. She has served on many local community boards and understands the importance of including as many individuals as possible to make decisions that are in the best interest of all.

Bernadette Gavin-Palmieri would like to see more awareness on mental health and special ed for the best interests of all. She would like to see more stability in administrative leadership. Lastly, Cairo- Durham needs to continue and improve to offer the best possible education to all students with various avenues to achieve that goal.

Steven LaFever
A resident of Greene County and the Cairo-Durham School District for over 15 years. Married to Nancy LaFever with three children, Neil, Eric and Brandon.

Professional Experience

  • Operations Manager XPO Logistics - Current
  • Director of Communications - New York State Consumer Protection Board, Albany, NY 1995-2000
  • Senior Policy Analyst/Director of Communications – New York State Assembly and Senate, Albany, NY 1990-1995
  • Director of Communications - New York State Board of Elections, Albany, NY 1985-1990

Claudia Zucker
I have been a resident of Durham, NY since 1987. Both of my children attended and graduated from the Cairo-Durham School District. My career started as a high school history teacher in New Rochelle. I also substitute taught, at all grade levels, for Cairo-Durham when my children were young. I currently have one grandchild attending Cairo Elementary School and another who will be starting in a year and a half.

My ties to our community also include operating my company, Living Structures Hal Zucker Realty Inc. on Main Street in Cairo. We have been a local business for over 30 years, and as a realtor I know the importance of having a successful school district to attract both business and residents. My career also gave me the opportunity to serve as a Director on the Regional Board of Realtors and I therefore know the New York State laws for Boards, as well as the rules governing conduct and procedure. My Board experience has made me familiar with interpreting spread sheets, and developing and managing budgets. Most importantly, I have learned how to listen to all points of view and how to compromise with other board members so that we reach decisions that lead to the best results. I look forward to bringing that experience to the Cairo-Durham School Board.