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May 16 Budget Vote & School Board Election

Three candidates are running for two seats on the Board of Education

The candidates are: David Apkarian, Rosemarie Perez Jaquith, and Yu (Jennifer) Zhou. Board members are volunteers. All candidates run at-large; the two candidates with the most votes will be elected to the Board. The individuals elected this year will serve a three-year term beginning July 1, 2017. The biographical information below is provided by the candidates. They are listed here in the order they will appear in the ballot, which was selected at-random.

PTO Council Meet the Candidates Night: Tuesday, May 2, at 7 p.m., Van Antwerp auditorium


David Apkarian

picture of David ApkarianDavid Apkarian, of 20 Oaktree Lane, is seeking his second term on the Board. He is currently vice president of the Board.

Apkarian is the CEO of TransTech Systems Inc., and chairman of the TransTech Board of Directors. The company is dedicated to revolutionizing the transportation and other industries by providing advanced technological solutions through innovative products and services. Apkarian manages all TransTech divisions and has overseen the internationalization and development of the corporation's product line for the past 18 years. He has a bachelor's degree in business management from Davenport University, with a minor in sales and marketing.

He has served on many different local and national boards of directors including St. Clare's Hospital Foundation, the American Red Cross of Northeastern New York, and the National Asphalt Pavement Association, and is involved with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Apkarian has lived in Niskayuna for 20 years. He and his wife, Tammy, have three children: Brittany, who is a graduate of Western Michigan University; Abigail, a ninth grade student at Niskayuna High School; and Zackary, who is in fifth grade at Birchwood.



Rosemarie Perez Jaquith

picture of Rosemarie Perez JaquithRosemarie Perez Jaquith, of 1475 Keyes Ave., is seeking a second term on the Board. She is currently the Board president, serves on the Board's Policy Committee and is liaison to various district organizations.

Jaquith is administrative counsel for the New York State Legislative Bill Drafting Commission. In that position, she reviews and negotiates contracts, provides legal support in procurement and other administrative matters, develops internal policies, and represents the Commission in administrative and court proceedings.

Jaquith has a bachelor's degree in business from SUNY IT and a juris doctor from Syracuse University College of Law. Jaquith was a member of the district's 60th Anniversary Committee and Academic Advisory Committee, and she served on the Facilities Utilization Advisory Committee.

Before joining the school board, she was on the board of the Niskayuna Booster Club, and is a past co-president of the district PTO Council (2011-13) and past co-secretary of the Van Antwerp PTO (2011-13). Jaquith also served as co-president of the Hillside PTO (2009-11) and helped raise money for the school's playground. She helps organize the annual St. Baldrick's event in Schenectady that raises money for pediatric cancer research. Jaquith has lived in Niskayuna for 18 years.

She and her husband, Grant, have three children: Olivia, a 2013 Niskayuna High School graduate who works for NBC Universal in NYC; Isabelle, a Niskayuna High School senior who will attend WPI this fall; and Colton, a junior in high school.



Yu (Jennifer) Zhao

picture of Yu (Jennifer) ZhouYu (Jennifer) Zhao, of 2175 Foxhill Drive, is seeking a first term on the Board.

She is a full-time stay-at-home mom and owner of a home-based business as an Educational Consultant for Usborne Books and More. Previously, she was employed as a lead engineer at GE Global Research where she led teams and managed project budgets, such as building a world-class solar technology laboratory from the ground up.

She has a bachelor's degree in material science engineering from Cornell University and a master's of engineering degree in integrated microsystems from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.

She is a member of the PTO at Craig Elementary School and the Niskayuna Moms' Group. Zhao is also an annual presenter at the Hudson Mohawk Valley Mathematics Teachers Conference and a BOCES substitute teacher. She is co-founder and past president of "we c…green" of GE, a group focused on sustainability, and a past president of the Young Professional Club of the Chinese Community Center.  She teaches Sunday school at the Chinese Fellowship Bible Church.

Zhao has been a district resident for 11 years. She and her husband, Paul, have two children: Micah, who attends Craig Elementary School, and Jonah who is two years old.


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