On Tuesday, May 19, three candidates were elected to the Mohonasen Board of Education; newcomers Patrick Ryan (866); Pamela Young (800); and Chad McFarland (776). Incumbents Gary Spadaro (738), Stacey MacTurk (565) and Tom Andriola (561) were defeated as well as newcomer Dan Garrow (461).
Candidates ran at-large and were elected to unpaid, three-year terms beginning July 1.
The candidates are listed below in the order they appeared on the ballot.
All information is submitted by candidates.
Chad M. McFarland – Elected
Chad M. McFarland, of 14 Santa Lane, is running for a first term on the board. He has lived in the district for two-and-a-half years. McFarland is a senior associate at the Albany-based law firm Tully Rinckey PLLC and practices military law. McFarland, and his family, moved to Rotterdam after serving eight years active duty in the U.S Army and currently serves as a Major in Army Reserve assigned to the 7th Legal Operations Detachment in Schenectady. He is a licensed attorney in New York and Ohio and is a member of the New York State Bar Association and regularly attends Loudonville Community Church. McFarland is also involved with the Marlins Swim Team.
McFarland graduated from Cuyahoga Falls High School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He received a bachelor’s degree in political science/pre-law from the University of Akron, and his law degree from the University of Akron School Of Law in 2003.
McFarland and his wife, Ruth, have three children.
“I am running for school board member because I believe I can bring a sense of renewed vision, critical thinking, and a track record of thriving in challenging environments, bringing important stakeholders together establishing a greater sense of shared purpose in our district. As an Army officer and attorney for the past 12 years and father of three daughters in the Mohonasen CSD, I see my mission clear: to broker our best assets – our parents, teachers and community – to lead and meet our most significant challenges with both courage and an unwavering commitment of responsibly overseeing the quality and accessibility of the education of our community’s youth.”
Pamela Young – Elected
Pamela Young, of 1939 Fiero Avenue, is running for a first term on the board. She has lived in the district for four years. She works for Purshe Kaplan Sterling Investments, PKS Advisory Services LLC, and PKS Financial Services as an investment advisor, insurance planner and part-time regional supervisor. She has been actively involved in two charity walk/run events – the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. She also volunteers at the Hope Club in Latham. Young is also involved in the Mohonasen Football program and CYO basketball program at St. Gabriel’s.
Young graduated from the Gilboa-Conesville Central School District. She has an associate’s degree in business administration from SUNY Cobleskill, and a bachelor’s degree in business management/economics and master’s degree in business administration with a focus on international business from SUNY Empire State.
Young has one child.
“I would like to serve on the board of education because I think it is important to be involved with the community through the school. Education is an important aspect of any child’s life as it helps them develop into young adults that will contribute to society. I feel my experience in finance and business would be a great contribution to the board. In have always been involved in my child’s education. I feel this will help me contribute to all children and the community. Being a four-year cancer survivor, I am excited to pay it forward and I feel this position would help in that endeavor.”
Patrick Ryan – Elected
Patrick Ryan, of 29 Miles Standish Road, is running for a first term on the board. He has lived in the district for approximately 30 years. Ryan is currently the director of budget and accounting services for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. In this role, he oversees an operational budget of approximately $460 million to ensure that agency core mission objectives are attained.
Ryan graduated from Mohonasen in 1980. He went on to receive an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Hudson Valley Community College; as well as a bachelor’s degree in political science/criminal justice, a master’s degree in public administration and a certificate of advanced study in planning and policy analysis from SUNY Albany.
Ryan and his wife, Rebecca, have five children.
“My desire to serve as a member of the Mohonasen Board of Education is founded on three goals: to assist the district in finding creative ways to promote and achieve academic excellence for our children, to provide a conduit for the concerns of parents and teachers, and to preserve local control of the educational system, which is foundational to advance the well-being of our students and the morale and creativity of the district’s most valuable assets – its teachers.”
Dan Garrow, of 3078 Guilderland Avenue, is running for a first term on the board. He has lived in the district for seven years. Garrow is a confidential assistant to the manager of the Schenectady County Senior and Long Term Care Department. In this capacity, he is involved in locating and facilitating the community resources and services available to senior citizens in the county in an effort to promote their long-term health and wellbeing. He attended Mohonasen High School and has a GED diploma.
Garrow is involved in the Schenectady County Initiative Program grant committee, which promotes arts and tourism within the county.
“I want to have the opportunity to give back to the district that has been a very influential part of my life. During my sophomore year at Mohonasen, my mother became ill. The caring professionals and teachers in the district helped me persevere through this difficult time by providing the structure and guidance that helped me complete my education. Someday my children will also go to Mohonasen and I want their experience to be as good or better than when I attended. I will be actively involved in making that happen and will be a strong advocate for the district.”
Gary Spadaro, of 1855 Ferguson Street, is running for a fourth term on the board. He is the director of social enterprise at the Schenectady City Mission and owner of the Dynamic Dental Management Group.
Spadaro is a graduate of Mohonasen High School. After graduating, he went on to receive a degree in business administration from Herkimer County Community College and a bachelor’s degree in marketing management from Siena College. He also attended the Division of Prosthodontics School Dentistry at the University of Michigan and the Leadership Management Institute.
Spadaro is the founder of the City Mission’s Weekend Serving Program, also known as the “backpack program.” He is a past member member of the Mohonasen Foundation for Excellence, a member of the Rotterdam Elks, past president of the Rotterdam Business Association and past board member of the National Association of Dental Labs.
Spadaro and his wife, Holly, have two children.
“It has been an honor and a blessing to be on the Mohonasen Board of Education. I look forward to furthering the work the board has done, especially the most recent building project. The board has been a big part of my life for nine years. I truly enjoy serving the community in this capacity.”
Andriola serves as the chief of policy and implementation for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services. In that capacity, he is responsible for facilitating the progress and implementation of the juvenile justice reform initiatives included in the Strategic Planning Action Committee’s (SPAC) strategic plan, and advising the Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Governor’s Office on other key public safety and cross systems initiatives. He is also a representative of the New York State Children’s Justice Task Force, the New York State Safe Schools Task Force, and the New York State Interagency Task Force on HIV/AIDS. Andriola also writes for adoption.com and many of his articles have been reprinted by The Good Men Project. A collection of his articles can be found here: https://www.pinterest.com/tomandriola1/adoption/.
Previously, Andriola served as director of policy and implementation for the Office of the Deputy Secretary for Public Safety, as assistant chief budget examiner for the New York State Division of the Budget, and as deputy budget director for the New York State Assembly Ways and Means Committee. He also spent time working in the private sector prior to joining public service.
A graduate of Mahopac High School, Andriola received a master’s degree from SUNY Albany in economics and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Siena College. He completed the International Studies, Foreign Languages and Business Program at Siena, and spent a semester studying abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France at the Institute for American Universities.
Andriola and his wife, Margaret, have two children. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/tomandriola.
“I am running for my third term on the board because I have a passion for doing what’s right by kids — not just my own kids, but ALL kids. I think that my experience in state government and my first six years on the board gives me a unique ability to help drive positive change in a collaborative manner. I am looking forward to serving my third term on the board!”
Stacy MacTurk, of 1977 Helderberg Avenue, is running for a second term on the board. She has lived in the district for five years. Before becoming a full-time mom, MacTurk was a research assistant at SUNY Upstate Medical University’s Pediatric Pulmonary and Cystic Fibrosis Center in Syracuse. Before that, she was a program assistant at Brown University’s Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research, and most recently she worked for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region as a site coordinator.
MacTurk is the current vice president of the Mohonasen Board of Education. She also serves as a kindergarten homeroom mom, volunteers at Mohonasen PTO events, and is involved with the Marlins Swim Team. MacTurk is a former board member of Wonderland Nursery School; however, she will once again assume that role this summer.
She is a graduate of New Paltz High School and attended SUNY New Paltz and Syracuse University. She received bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from SUNY New Paltz.
She and her husband, Tim, have three children.
“The past three years serving on the Mohonasen Board of Education have been a combination of revelations and frustrations. I bring to the board the perspective of a parent with young children. In fact, I will have a child in the Mohonasen school system until 2030. I have been able to see firsthand the great job our educators do here, and the plethora of opportunities that are offered to the students. I have a vested interest in making Mohonasen the greatest district it can be in spite the road blocks from the government. As a board member, I will continue to advocate for the children of our community.”
Watch the Budget Hearing and Meet the Candidates Video