Board Elections - Candidates
Meet the Candidates for the Carmel Central School District Board of Education
There are three (3) Board of Education seats up for election. All residents may vote on the three available seats, as well as the District’s budget.
Two seats will be filled by the two candidates with the highest number of votes for three (3)-year terms, commencing July 1, 2021, and expiring on June 30, 2024; one seat will be filled by the candidate with the third-highest number of votes for a term commencing May 19, 2021, and expiring on June 30, 2022.
The District will host a Meet the Candidates virtual event on May 11. Additional information about the virtual event will be available soon and a recording of the event will be made available after May 11.
Candidates are (as they will appear on the ballot):
- Michelle Yorio
- Jason Paraskeva
- Melissa Orser
- John C. Curzio II
- Tamara Harrison
My name is Michelle Yorio. I am a mother of three boys and have lived in Carmel for 29 years. I have served two terms on our board, currently as President. I have been volunteering in our community and district for over a decade. I served on KPS PTO and was the founder of the Walden PTO, a special-needs school located at PNW BOCES. Being a parent of children with very different learning styles I know the importance of supporting the whole child. This led me to help organize the creation of the KPS Buddy Program where I volunteered for several years. I am actively involved in Parents as Partners. As a board member I have served on the Education & Assessment, Athletics/Co-Curricular & Communications Committees. I have been part of the development and implementation of the district’s Strategic Plan. And I am currently a member of the district’s Equity Team and Social Emotional Learning Team.
I believe in being a lifelong learner and have been consistent in my board professional development. Continuing to learn and grow as a board member and person is the best way serve our district. I believe in being fiscally responsible and understand the challenges school districts face. Being part of the hiring process for our district’s superintendent has allowed me to help continue to grow a strong leadership team that will provide the tools and opportunities necessary for our students to be successful.
My name is Jason Paraskeva and I have lived in the CCSD my entire life. I graduated from Carmel High School in 1988. My wife and I have been married for 14 years. We have two children currently in the District.
I am a degreed Electrical Engineer and Co-founder of KPG Automation in Bristol, Conn. I have 20 years’ experience as a board member of the East Fishkill Planning Board, which has allowed me many opportunities to address issues and concerns and do what was best for the community.
I have been an involved parent in our district. I served as a PTO board member at KES and have served on many committees over the years. Most recently, I was part of the reopening committee helping our children get back to school five days a week, with the focus on their academic and emotional needs.
I was elected in December to serve on the BOE due to a vacancy. Now I am asking you, the community, to put your trust in me to continue the hard work that I have done along with the rest of the Board over the last four months to serve our community, all district employees and most of all, and most importantly, our children.
I come with no agenda and believe in our vision to embrace individuality, provide opportunities for students to discover and pursue their passions, ignite a desire to learn, and continue to recognize and fight for the importance of education for all students.
My name is Melissa Orser, first I am a mother of five incredible children who have all attended the Carmel schools. I have lived in the CCSD for 25 years and I have been an active member of the CCSD family, both personally and professionally. My professional background is clinical social work specializing in educational advocacy. Together with my husband, we own a lawn care company located in Carmel. As a small business owner, I understand the importance of fiscal responsibility and accountability to our community stakeholders.
I have been part of the PTO and have sat on many committees, most notably the Strategic Planning Committee. I was also instrumental in creating “Parents as Partners “a group for parents of special needs children.
My children have participated in many of the opportunities that the CCSD offers. My son is the captain of the wrestling team and my daughter was active in theater and music. My son took part in the BOCES technology program. I also had the experience with a child who was placed out of district to receive an appropriate education.
I would like to be part of the team that works to bring hope and positivity while rebuilding a stronger school district in these difficult times.
If elected, I will represent all stakeholders of the CCSD in an honest and transparent manner. My life’s work is advocating for children and families. I intend to continue to advocate for your children in the capacity as a trustee.
John C. Curzio II
My name is John Curzio. I am a lifelong resident of the Carmel Central School District and a graduate of Carmel High School. I am also a graduate of Iona College, where I earned my bachelor’s degree. I am respectfully requesting your support of my candidacy for election to the position of Carmel School Board Trustee in the upcoming May 18, 2021, election.
During my tenure as your School Board Trustee from 2016-2019, I worked tirelessly to fulfill my campaign promises. These pledges included fighting for fiscal responsibility and opposing Common Core. As as a member of the board’s Education and Assessment Committee, I also proudly stood with our students to ensure that they receive the exceptional education that they deserve in our district.
During this present crisis, clear eyes and complete transparency are essential not only to earning the trust of the people, including district parents, but also to lead our community forward. This moment demands of our elected officials a coherent plan in order to get on with the urgent task of educating our students. The school board must effectively communicate their plan of action directly to the people, with the education, health, and safety of our students and staff being the top priority.
I would be honored to earn your support and your vote as I seek another term on the Carmel School Board as your faithful representative. I believe in Carmel Schools and hope you do too. Thank you and I look forward to speaking with you on the campaign trail!
My name is Tamara Harrison and I have been a resident and a taxpayer in our district for the last six years. I am a mother of two elementary-aged children and wife to a union husband. My family was quick at establishing roots and have been very involved in volunteering within our community. The majority of my career has been spent in administrative professional roles in pharmaceutical and corporate governance, supporting multiple boards around the world. I’ve spent countless hours assisting in budget preparation, performing all areas of human resource functions and ensuring that policy and procedures are followed. As a current municipal employee, I am knowledgeable in the various workings of government agencies.
It will be my goal, as a board member, to ensure that our children and staff have the tools they need to succeed while maintaining fiscal responsibility. As a resident with a young family, I plan to bring a fresh set of eyes to see how we can continue to improve. A school district can only function to their full potential if they have the support and collaboration of teachers, students, parents and administrative staff. This is especially important if we plan to continue to adapt and improve during this hybrid school environment and beyond. I’m a strong believer in transparency and will strive to improve communications within our district. My interest in running came after being involved in several meetings throughout this past year and realizing how much I have to offer.