NIAGARA FALLS – Two long-serving members of the School Board said Thursday that they will seek re-election when their present terms expire at the end of the current school year.
They are: Don J. King, the longest-serving board member, who is in his seventh five-year term; and Kevin Dobbs, who is in his 16th year as a board member.
The seats held by King and Dobbs are the only ones among the nine-member board to be filled in the May 21 elections. The terms of the other board members expire in staggered years.
King and Dobbs’ current terms will end June 30, and new terms will begin July 1. Board Clerk Ruthel D. Dumas said that nominating petitions for potential candidates will be available at the School District Administration Office, 630 66th St., late next month. Potential candidates will have about two months to collect the 100 signatures necessary to get their names on the election ballot for the unpaid positions.
King announced his candidacy in a statement in which he said his “passion, stamina, desire, balance and experience should be a positive factor in addressing the change processes that will be occurring in the education arena.”
During the next five years, King said, the board may select a new superintendent, continue to address social media concerns and complex teacher evaluations, and deal with challenging fiscal situations.
King, a retired retail business owner, is president of the King Art Gallery.
The contract of the superintendent, Cynthia A. Bianco, will expire at the end of the 2014-15 school year.
Dobbs made no formal announcement, but he told The Buffalo News that he will be a candidate for re-election.
Before serving on the board, Dobbs was chairman of the district’s Magnet School Advisory Committee for three years and was appointed by the state education commissioner to the state Parent Partnership Advisory Council. He is a member of the Niagara Ministerial Council and is pastor of Christ Redemption Tabernacle Church.
In 2001, he received the Civil Rights Achievement Award at the community’s annual celebration in memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He first was appointed to the board to fill a vacancy in an unexpired term, and then was elected to three consecutive full terms.
Dobbs is a graduate of the former Trott Vocational High School and is a retired process supervisor for Occidental Chemical Co.
In other business, the board agreed to allocate up to $11 million from its Greenway funds to the improvement of athletic fields, mainly through the installation of synthetic turf, and to the construction of a field house. Those projects are part of a bond issue for improvements or expansion of all of the district’s school buildings, but the athletic fields and field house are not eligible for financial reimbursement from the state government, so the district administration wants to use Greenway money for those purposes.