Colleen Battalino Wins Board of Education Election


The results of the recent Board of Education election came as a surprise to many when Colleen Battalino won the board seat that was vacated by Sue Minard. Why was this a shock? Battalino ran a write-in campaign against Deborah Schwarting, who had previously served as a BOE member for many years, and Battalino was never officially on the ballot. Being the first person to win on a write-in campaign in over 20 years was no easy task.

“I relied heavily on word of mouth so I spent many nights and weekends going door to door introducing myself within the community,” Battalino said. She also used social media to get the word out by creating a Facebook support group and notifying people on Twitter. “I posted campaign signs at the houses of supporters, and flyers at local establishments. Being a write in candidate was a very difficult process, I contribute my success to my supporters for passing the word on and the long hours I put in going door to door to introduce myself.”

Battalino ran as a write-in because of her late decision start her campaign. Her interest in the position was elevated when she heard about the request to change the school mascot. In response, she wrote a letter to both The Citizen and the B.O.E. Her letter had a great impact and was featured in The Citizen, and she was then asked to join the Weedsport mascot committee. Her position on the committee lead to her decision to run for the open seat. She started off her write-in campaign by contacting Mark Farrell who won his county legislative seat through a write-in campaign. “He assured me that with hard work it could be done,” Battalino added.

With her success, Battalino plans to bring a younger perspective to the B.O.E. She is 28 years old, and the youngest board member Weedsport has seen in the last 20 years. “I know what my generation is looking for in a school district,” she commented. Battalino is also graduating with a Master’s Degree in Administration in the spring, and she plans on using the skills she’s learned to provide more insight in leadership and policy making for the district.

A fresh face and perspective could open many new doors to the B.O.E.  “I typically like to think outside of the box and hope that this will create new opportunities for alternative thinking. I would like to bring a different perspective to the B.O.E. by looking at scenarios from different angles. Looking at something from a different angle or perspective can help strengthen what we already have and make it more effective and efficient,” Battalino said.

Along with her hopes on what she could provide to the administration, she also has some things she would like to see added to Weedsport. One thing she mentioned was a recreation center similar to towns around Weedsport. “The availability for recreational services will bring communities members to the school that may not otherwise attend. This added source of revenue will become an additional financial source as well as creating additional services to the community.”

Ms. Battalino brings a new perspective to our B.O.E. and has set the bar high for what she will accomplish with her time on the Board. The Johnny Green congratulates her and wishes her the best of luck.