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2024 Board of Education Candidates

The Fort Plain Board of Education is empowered to develop policies, rules and regulations for the operation of our school district and for the education and well-being of our students.

Any U.S. citizen who is a resident of Fort Plain Central School District for 30 days prior to the vote may run for a seat on the Board.

Learn more about the responsibilities and characteristics of a board of education member.

2024 Board of Education Candiates

On May 21, 2024, voters in the Fort Plain Central School District will elect three board members to fill two, three year terms and one, one year and six week term (made vacant by the resignation of a board member.)

The candidates for 2024 Board of Education Election, in the order they will appear on the ballot, are:

Neal Van Slyke

Neal Van Slyke  is seeking a first term on the board.

For the past 24 years, Neal has served as the Administrator/CEO Wells Nursing Home in Johnstown, NY.

Neal received a bachelor of science degree from SUNY Plattsburgh. He is also a New York state licensed nursing home administrator.

Additionally, Neal volunteers his time as a basketball coach at all levels.

Neal has been a district resident for 25 years and is a 1984 graduate of Canajoharie Central School District.

Sara McDuffee

Sara McDuffee is seeking a first term on the board.

Sara is a resident of Fort Plain and a 2000 graduate of FPCSD.

For the past 20 years, Sara has been a social worker who specializes in public education and mental health. She currently works for the Greater Amsterdam School District. Sara holds a bachelor’s degree in developmental psychology and a master’s degree in social work.

Janel Hearn*

* Please note that Janel Hearn has sent notice to the District Clerk withdrawing her name as a candidate for 2024 Board of Education election due to personal circumstances.

Janel Hearn is seeking a first term on the board.

Janel is a Fort Plain resident and a founder of a local non-profit childcare center.

She is a 2001 graduate of Family Christian Academy in Fort Plain. (Please note: A previous version of this post indicated incorrect information about the school Janel Hearn graduated from in 2001. The district apologizes for this oversight.)

Janel holds a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education Leadership and is currently persuing a PhD in Philosophy of Education from the University Of Arizona Global Campus.

Additionally, Janel has served on the Fort Plain Activities Council for four years hosting “Santa Comes to Town” at the Little Miss Fire Cracker Pageant. She recently worked with the Fort Plain C.O.R.E in 2023.

Jamie Bunker

Jamie Bunker is seeking a first term on the board.

Jamie is a resident of Fort Plain and a 2002 graduate of FPCSD.

Jamie currently serves as Director of Finance at Roses Brands Company. He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. John Fisher College.

Additionally, Jaime coaches various Fort Plain youth sports.

Joshua Parkinson

Joshua Parkinson is seeking a first term on the board.

Joshua is a resident of Fort Plain and a 2003 graduate of FPCSD.

Joshua currently serves as the Director of Instructional Design at Herkimer County Community College. Joshua holds a master’s degree in Instructional Design from SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

Additionally, Joshua coaches Fort Plain youth sports and serves on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Herkimer County.