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Six Candidates in Hunt for Two School Board Seats

The Niagara Falls School Board election is Tuesday, May 21.

There are six candidates running for election to two seats.

The position is unpaid.

Normally there is a low voter turnout for school board elections, sometimes under 10 percent of registered voters, but this year, with three candidates for each open seat, it may spark more than usual interest as supporters for each candidate get out and vote.

Here are the candidates:

Ronald Barstys - A former Niagara Falls teacher, Barstys works for the North Tonawanda School District, where he receive tenure earlier this year,  as director of Student Services.  He lives in LaSalle with his wife, Christine, an English teacher at Niagara Falls High School, and they have a son in the Niagara Falls schools. Barstys believes he can hit the ground running as a board member given his career background and his skill set as a teacher.

Rev. Kevin Dobbs - Wrapping up his 16th year on the school board, Rev. Dobbs, pastor of Christ Redemption Tabernacle Church on Niagara St., is seeking his fourth full term of office. During his tenure, he has raised four children, three of whom now work for the school district. On his church’s website, Dobbs states that his motivation in life is to “Preach and teach the Gospel and help transform lives.” In addition to serving on the school board, Rev. Dobbs is the chairman of the Niagara Falls Housing Authority where he serves with fellow School Board President Carmelette Rotella and Supt. Cynthia Bianco.

Michael Gawel - A CPA and businessman, Gawel has been extensively profiled in the Niagara Falls Reporter. A businessman of undoubted skill, he has in the past been involved in a series of arrests and various scandals. Saying he has changed his life, Gawel is now involved with the city Republican Party and has a number of local business clients as a CPA. Gawel has offered to publish his cell phone number for all residents of the district to access him anytime.

Don King - see related story page 14.

Herbert Lewis - Born the 9th of 11 children, Lewis spent much of his childhood in foster care and feels that child-safety, socio-economics and family value issues need to be addressed in the district. “Too many children have issues that are not addressed or understood by today's elected leaders,” said Lewis, who works as a security guard at the Seneca Niagara Casino.

Anthony “Tony” Paretto -see related story page16



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

May 14, 2013