Board of Education Candidates (2021-22)

Four (4) seats on the Board of Education are up for election on May 18, 2021. The terms of Brian Coletti, Elizabeth Daly, David Infantino and Chris O’Connell will expire on June 30, 2021. Three seats are three-year, non-paid terms ending in June 2024. One seat is a one-year, non-paid term ending in June 2022. The candidate with the fourth highest number of votes will fill the one-year term.

There are five candidates running for four open seats. They will be listed on the ballot as follows: Brian Coletti, Elizabeth Daly, Tonya Frickey, Christopher O’Connell, Carolyn Miller.

About the Candidates

Brian Coletti

Brian Coletti currently serves as the Vice President of the Cairo-Durham Central School District Board of Education, where he has been a member since 2014. Since becoming a board member, Brian has been a member of Cairo-Durham’s Audit committee. He has been involved in capital projects within the district and supports the community and fellow board members in the employee negotiations of the teachers, administrators, and CSEA union contracts.

Brian has been a Bookkeeper for a large dental practice in Ulster County since 2005. He is also an independent small business owner, working as a NYS Licensed Real Property Mold Assessor since 2017. He volunteers his time supporting the Cairo-Durham Drama Club, helping with set construction and other production needs.

Brian and his wife Janette have been living in Cairo for 26 years. They have 3 children, two have already graduated from the district, and one who is currently a sophomore at CDHS.

His commitment to focusing on our students’ ongoing educational needs and supporting and representing the community allows him to continue to be an asset to the Board of Education.

Elizabeth (Beth) Daly

I have served on the Cairo-Durham Board of Education since 2012 and I am interested in continuing my service as a board member for several reasons. I have three daughters who went through the Cairo-Durham district, from kindergarten to graduation. They have gone on to college, graduated and felt that they had every advantage because of their school and community. They played sports, were in school musicals, marched in the St. Patrick's Day parade in NYC, experienced college level coursework and much more. There are great things happening in the Cairo-Durham schools and I wish to continue to be a part of that.

I believe strongly that there should be an educator included in the membership of the school board. I have been in public education for 30 plus years as a school counselor, with a background in therapeutic residential care prior to that.

I love where we live—the mountains are beautiful through all seasons, and being part of a small, tight-knit community where folks help each other daily is very rewarding.

Thank you for this opportunity to serve my community. I have enjoyed the challenges being a board member has brought. I take this responsibility seriously and only want to make our schools stronger—one student, one decision at a time.

Tonya Frickey

Tonya (Warner) Frickey grew up in Acra and attended Cairo-Durham Elementary and Middle School until she relocated to Kinderhook in Columbia County. After graduating from Ichabod Crane Central School in 1988, she attended Potsdam College where she earned a Bachelor’s in English Writing and Communications. Pursuing a career in education, she later earned a Master’s in Secondary Education from Russell Sage Graduate School and a Master’s in Information Science from the University at Albany. In 1995, Tonya began her career in San Antonio, Texas teaching high school English and Social Studies. In 1996, she accepted an English position at Vanderheyden Hall in Wynantskill, NY. A year later, Tonya began teaching English at Germantown Central School, where she remained for five years. In 2000, Tonya was elected to the Taconic Hills Board of Education, and served for two years before she accepted a position as an English teacher at Taconic Hills. After teaching English for 21 years, Tonya accepted a new position as the middle and high school library media specialist at Taconic Hills. Additionally, she taught English at Columbia-Greene Community College for quite a few years, and is currently a part-time lecturer in The College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity at the University at Albany. Tonya is quite proud of her three children: her oldest son Jeffrey (22) is currently serving in the Army National Guard; her daughter Samantha (21) is a student at Hudson Valley Community College; and her youngest son Jonathan (19) is enlisted in the US Army and currently serving overseas. She and her partner, Robert Orin, reside in Round Top.

Christopher O’Connell

My name is Christopher O’Connell. I am a lifelong resident of the Cairo-Durham School District. I currently reside in the town of Cairo with my wife, Kelly, our children, Ryan and Tenley, and our dog Finn. I am a high school History teacher and have been teaching for 23 years. I have six years of experience on the Cairo-Durham Board of Education and am very excited about the progress of our building project that is currently going on. With your help, I look forward to serving on the Cairo-Durham School Board for several more years.

Carolyn Miller

I have been a resident of Cairo-Durham Central School District since 2009, I have served as Interim Assistant Principal in the Cairo-Durham Middle/High school, and I have two children who attend in the district. I have been a Greene County resident my entire life. Currently, I am the Assistant Principal for The Children’s Home of Kingston. Prior to becoming an administrator, I taught English at Catskill Middle School for 15 years.

I feel it is imperative to have a fair representation of the community on a school board. I know that our current board works very hard for our district. However, I know I can bring a perspective to the board that is not currently represented. For example, since March 2020, I have been assisting my principal in running our school. While many schools remained on remote learning, our students have had the option of face-to-face education that started in July 2020. I was involved in writing our school’s implementation of the COVID policy. Moreover, I know the NYS school standards, and testing requirements, as well as best teaching practices. I am an advocate for our students, and teachers.

Please visit my Facebook page: “Carolyn Miller for the Cairo-Durham Board of Education” to ask questions or share concerns. I committed to our community and hope to be a part of the decision-making process when it comes to our students of Cairo-Durham.

Thank you, it will be my pleasure to make a difference for our future and current students.