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Eight candidates running for Auburn school board seats


A large field of candidates is running for the Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education this year.

Eight people are pursuing three three-year terms up for grabs in Auburn, according to the school district. Wednesday at 5 p.m. was the deadline for candidates to file petitions for being on the ballot in next month's election. Auburn's candidate field is easily the largest among Cayuga County-area districts this year.

Incumbent board member Kathleen Rhodes, who previously served as board president for two years and was vice president for several years before that, is running again, as are incumbents Salvatore "Sam" Giangreco and Ian Phillips. Giangreco is a four-term incumbent and Phillips, who joined the board in 2018, is a New York State United Teachers union employee and the chairman of the Cayuga County Democratic Committee.

Patrick Mahunik is pursuing a board spot again after previously running last year. He represented District 12 on the Cayuga County Legislature until his term ran out in late 2019 and was the Legislature's chairman. He had also served as a member of Cayuga Community College's Board of Trustees as a legislative appointee from 2016 to 2019. Mahunik works as the Director of Secondary Education at Newfield Central School District.

Four newcomers to running for a board seat are also getting involved.

Matteo Bartolotta, owner of Nino's Pizzeria in Auburn, will be on the ballot, as will Rachel Czyz, who has been home raising her children in recent years and has a degree in education from the University of Valley Forge in Pennsylvania. Nate Garland, who has been the assistant corporation counsel for the city of Auburn since 2017 and a former Cayuga County assistant district attorney, is putting his hat in the ring as well. Isabelle Wellauer, owner of Nourish Holistic Healing Arts, a private yoga and massage therapy practice she runs out of her home in Sennett, is also running for a board seat.

School district residents will be able to vote on candidates, along with the district's proposed 2021-22 budget and any other propositions, on Tuesday, May 18.

Staff writer Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.


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Education and City Reporter

Hello, my name is Kelly Rocheleau, and I cover the education and city beats for The Citizen and I've been writing for the paper since December 2016.

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