Meet the Board

The Niskayuna Board of Education is a seven-member board elected by the community that is responsible for the governance of the school district. Members serve three-year terms without pay.

Photo of Howard SchlossbergHoward Schlossberg, President

Term: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2021

E-mail: hschlossberg@niskyschools.org

Howard Schlossberg, of 76 Pheasant Ridge, is serving his first term on the Board. He graduated from Cornell University and earned a medical degree from Temple University. Schlossberg completed a fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University for hematology and oncology.

He served as the secretary on the executive board of his practice, New York Oncology Hematology, and continues as a director while chairing the Technology Committee and serving on the Research, Peer Review, and Pharmacy committees. He also serves on the Schenectady County Public Health Advisory Committee as well as Ellis Medicine committees including Transfusion, Institutional Review, and Oncology.

He has served on the Board of Community Hospice and the Executive Board at Congregation Gates of Heaven. Schlossberg teaches high school students, medical students and residents.

He has lived in the district for a decade and is married to Michelle Ostrelich. They have two daughters, Fiona, who attends Iroquois Middle School, and Rachel, who attend Rosendale Elementary.

Headshot photo of Brian BackusBrian Backus, Vice-President

Term: July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2022

E-mail: bbackus@niskyschools.org

Brian R. Backus, of 2250 Grand Boulevard, is serving a second term on the board. He was first elected in a special election in October 2017 to fill a vacancy on the board.

Colonel Backus recently retired as Commander of the 139th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron of the New York Air National Guard’s 109th Airlift Wing in Scotia after 39 years of service to the state and nation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in human resources management from the New School University in New York City and completed Air War College at the U.S. Air Force’s Air University.

Backus is a former member of the Town of Niskayuna Planning Board and Zoning Commission and has been active with Niskayuna Youth Football, Niskayuna Boys and Girls Basketball, Niskayuna Girls Lacrosse and the annual St. Baldrick’s Day event at Proctors Theatre. He is a member of St. John’s Roman Catholic Church.

Backus has lived in Niskayuna for nine years. He and his wife, Lynne Rutnik, have two children who attend Niskayuna Schools: Aiylin and Owen Rutnik, who attend Niskayuna High School.

Noney GrierHeadshot of Noney Grier smiling at the camera

Term: July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2021

E-mail: ngrier@niskyschools.org

Noney M. Grier, of 9 Schwaber Drive, was elected to a first term on the Board in May 2018.

Grier is a voluntary service specialist at the Albany Stratton VA Medical Center. In that position, she develops and implements standards, plans and procedures for the direction and operation of voluntary service activities, is responsible for the recruitment and management of more than 500 volunteers, and oversees a growing youth program.

She has an associate’s degree in substance abuse counseling from Schenectady County Community College, is a credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counselor trainee from the New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuses Services, and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human resources from Empire State College.

Grier is a life member of Phi Theta Kappa, a Marine Corps League member, chair of the Stratton VA Veteran Employee Team, a member and past chapter president of Student Veterans of America, and a volunteer with Girl Scout Troop 2351.

She has lived in Niskayuna for seven years. She and her husband, Robert, have two children: Lorenzo, who graduated from Niskayuna High School in 2012 and Elizabeth, who attends Van Antwerp Middle School.

headshot photo of Greta JanssonGreta Jansson

Email: gjansson@niskyschools.org

Term: July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2022

Greta Jansson, of 6 Seneca Road, is serving her first term on the Board.

Jansson and her husband, Naseer Chowdhrey, own Capital Care Neurology. She is a certified neurodiagnostic technician, and also previously managed the practice. Her professional background includes psychology and business. She has also worked as a resident advisor for Covenant House in New York City and as a sales associate for Salomon Brothers. Jansson is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology and sociology.

Jansson has served as a Friends of Music liaison, Rosendale homeroom parent, and on school committees including the Beautification Committee. She served as a board member for the Niskayuna Co-Op Nursery for three years (2008-2010) and is active in the interfaith community as a member of ICCD.

Jansson has lived in Niskayuna for 12 years. She and Naseer have three sons: Laith, a 9th grader at Niskayuna High School; Saif, an 8th grader at Iroquois Middle School; and Sami, a 5th grader at Rosendale Elementary School.

Rosemarie Perez JaquithPhoto of Rosemarie Perez Jaquith

Term: July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2020

E-mail: rperezjaquith@niskyschools.org

Rosemarie Perez Jaquith, of 1475 Keyes Ave. is serving her second term on the Board. Jaquith is Director of Administration and Administrative Counsel for the New York State Legislative Bill Drafting Commission. In that position, she oversees the business and financial operations of the Commission, 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, the Academic Advisory Committee, and the Facilities Utilization Advisory Committee.

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 19 years. She and her husband, Grant, have three children: Olivia, a 2013 NHS graduate who works for NBC in NYC; Isabelle, a 2017 NHS graduate who attends Worcester Polytechnic Institute; and Colton, who will attend Wells College starting fall, 2018.

Headshot photo of Kimberly TullyKimberly Tully

Term: July 1, 2019 – June 20, 2022

E-mail: ktully@niskyschools.org

Kimberly Tully, of 1220 Rosehill Boulevard, is serving her first term on the Board.

Tully is the director of educational advisement at Tully Rinckey PLLC. In that role, she acts as a liaison between attorneys and clients on special education matters. She has a bachelor’s degree in deviant behavior and social control from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a master’s in education from the University at Albany, and teaching certificates in childhood education, literacy, and students with disabilities.

Tully is a past secretary and co-president of Rosendale PTO and the current secretary of Iroquois PTO and the co-president of PTO Council. She volunteers as a humane law enforcement officer with the Schenectady County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and serves as a committeeperson for Boy Scout Troop 3034 in Niskayuna and a religious education teacher at Zion Lutheran Church.

She has lived in Niskayuna for 14 years. She and her husband, Mat, have three children: Kevin, who is in sixth grade at Iroquois Middle School; and Brendan and Annamae, who are in third and first grades, respectively, at Rosendale.

Photo of Jennifer ZhaoJennifer Zhao

Term: July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2020

E-mail: jzhao@niskyschools.org

Yu (Jennifer) Zhao, of 2175 Foxhill Drive, is serving her 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.

Zhao 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.