- Iroquois Central School District
- Meet the Board
Iroquois Central School District Board of Education 2019-20
The Iroquois Central School District is well known for the dedication and commitment of its Board of Education. Much of the strength of the school district is derived from the long tradition of stability and consistency of purpose, a proud hallmark of the Iroquois Board of Education. The Board is comprised of seven elected officials who carry five-year terms.
Jane Sullivan, President
Jane Sullivan, President
Hello neighbor! I am proud to serve our community as a member of the Iroquois Central School District Board of Education. I am a graduate of Iroquois, Class of 1986. As an Iroquois student I was involved in a variety of activities, including cheerleading, drama club, writing for the school paper, and serving on the student government. I was given a well-rounded education and I want to assure students today have similar opportunities.
I furthered my education graduating from Syracuse University in 1990 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from Canisius College in 1992 with a Master of Science in reading education. I began working in education immediately, teaching reading at Starpoint Central School from 1992 to 1997. After a move to Texas and a maternity leave, I began teaching college writing in the First Year College Program at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), a position I held until my family moved back to Elma in 2010.
I am currently teaching in the College Writing Program at Buffalo State College as an adjunct writing instructor. In addition to teaching, I am the lifestyles editor to the East Aurora Advertiser and Elma Review. I also work in the Neighbor to Neighbor News billing department as a co-account manager.
I have four children, who have all gone through the Iroquois School District. My oldest daughter graduated from Iroquois in 2015 and from Manhattan College in 2019. She works currently in the health care industry and has continued her education in the hope of becoming a nurse. My other children are triplets, two girls and a boy, who graduated from Iroquois in June 2019. Each is pursuing higher education degrees: one is at Buffalo State studying computer information systems, one is at Gannon University studying pre-med biology, one is at University of Maine studying marine sciences. They were active students while attending Iroquois, so I saw many facets of the district including football, cheerleading, track, cross-country, holly hanging, music course, science course, AP courses, drama club, LEAD, FFA, BOCES and the BOCES Connections program. As a result, I continue to see the big picture of how our district continues to prepare its graduates for life with a well round education and opportunities that go beyond the classroom.
It is an exciting time to be in education and to be involved with a district that continues to look for ways to provide not only for students but also the community. I am so glad my path has led me to this role in the community and I thank you for the opportunity.
Please reach out to share your concerns and celebrations with me. I am here to listen.
Sharon Szeglowski, Vice-President
Sharon Szeglowski, Vice President
Sharon Szeglowski, her husband Scott and their two sons, Ian and Owen, moved to the Iroquois Central School District in 2007. They were attracted by the strong sense of community and the school district's commitment to a high quality education and fiscal responsibility.
Sharon has a Master's Degree in Social Studies Education from the University of Buffalo. She has been a teacher in a local school district for twenty-one years. In addition, she is a published author in the field of education. Sharon served as a member of the community group in the most recent Superintendent search and has been active with the Iroquois Ambassadors group.
This is a critical time in education. School districts are facing financial challenges of historic significance. Sharon believes that this is the most important time to become a School Board Member. This is the time to work together with the entire community to make decisions that represent the future of our school district. She will work hard to ensure that Iroquois continues to be the outstanding school district it is today.
Charles F. Specht, Member
Charles F. Specht, Member
I am a 1974 graduate of Iroquois High School. I received my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from St. Bonaventure University in 1978. After graduation, I worked for Resser Management Company before joining the Fiduciary Tax Department at HSBC Bank where I also served as Vice-President of Operations in the Investment Management Division until 1991 when I left to become business and office manager for our family business.
I am proud and feel very fortunate to have not only attended Iroquois, but to have also been a member of the Iroquois Board of Education since July 2009, serving as president from 2013 through 2018. My wife, three sons and I returned to the Iroquois School district in 1997 to provide the best possible educational opportunities for our children. As such, I am committed to maintaining and further improving the superior educational standards and staff our children have benefitted from and we have come to expect at Iroquois. At the same time, we must be mindful of the financial challenges faced by public education today and prudently manage those challenges in light of the needs of our students and taxpayers.
I have worked and supported many Iroquois School and community events, as well as organizations over the years. I served as an officer of the Iroquois Football Boosters Club for 13 years. I have also served on the EMW Football and Cheerleading Board of Directors and as a director of the St. Bonaventure University Rugby Alumni Board. I am also member of the Executive Board of the Erie County Association of School Boards and currently serve as the president of that organization. I have been a member of the ECASB Legislative team since 2009. I am also an active member of Annunciation parish.
David Lowrey, Member
David Lowrey, Member
David Lowrey graduated from Iroquois in 1978. He has a Bachelors / Masters Degree from Buffalo State College in Art Education and Graphic Design. Dave has Masters Degree from Canisius College in Education Administration. Mr. Lowrey is currently employed as the Executive Director of Erie County Association of School Boards (ECASB). Mr. Lowrey has worked as the Marketing Director for more than 50 Burger King Restaurants, served as the Director of Model and Agent Relations for the International Model Search, worked as a Supervisor for Tri-Town Recreation. Dave recently retired from the Lockport City School District where he taught Art at the high school for over 32 years and served as the Lockport Education Association Union President for over 465 members. While employed at Lockport High School, he also served as the Department Chairman, Chair of the Student Based Support Team and was Chair of the Orleans Niagara Teacher Center.
In addition to his current position for ECASB, Mr. Lowrey teaches graduate level classes in the NYSUT Education and Learning Trust for College of St. Rose, Adelphi University, and Empire State College.
Mr. Lowrey has been involved in the community and is past Vice President of EMW Soccer and Tri Town Soccer. He was the originator and co-chair of Spotlight ’84 – a decorator show house benefiting Allison House Foundation, Elma Historical Society and St. Vincent DePaul Home School Association. Dave has served as the Treasurer, Vice President and President of the ECASB. He is a board secretary/treasurer of Erie Niagara School Superintendents Association. He is on the parish council for St. Vincent DePaul church in Springbrook, New York.
Dave has been awarded the Honorary Live Membership in New York State PTA, the Dianna R. Miller award at ECASB, and served in his first term on the Iroquois Central School Board from 1987-1992. Mr. Lowrey was elected to serve on the Iroquois Central School Board in 2006 and is currently serving in his 9th year on the Erie 2 CC BOCES Board of Education.
Gunnar Haberl, Member
Gunnar Haberl, Member
On May 17, 2016, Gunnar J. Haberl became the youngest elected member of the Board of Education in the history of the Iroquois Central School District.
Public service has been an avenue where Gunnar Haberl believes he can make a positive difference in the lives of others. As a graduate of Iroquois in June 2015 with a NYS Advanced Regents Diploma, Gunnar is proud of his involvement, experiences and overall scholastic opportunities throughout the entirety of his educational career. Gunnar would like to use his knowledge of the school district and government experience to ensure that Iroquois continues to provide the outstanding well-rounded education it does today.
Throughout his time at Iroquois, Gunnar served as the President of both the Student Government and Principal’s Student Cabinet as well as on various committees, including the Iroquois Character Education Committee and the Iroquois Athletic Council. Together, the two groups worked to revise and implement policy change for the district.
Furthermore, Gunnar was elected by student councils across Western New York to represent Erie County students and school districts on the New York State Council of Leadership and Student Activities, which provided him the opportunity to attend numerous statewide and national leadership conferences.
Additionally, Gunnar was nominated and selected to attend the New York State American Legion Boys’ State program. It is through this program that Gunnar’s passion to give back to his community initiated. Gunnar has returned to the Boys’ State program as a counselor to inspire the youth of New York and give back to a program that has done much for him.
Haberl graduated from the University at Buffalo in May 2019 as an Advanced Honors Scholar with a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, in Political Science and in the Legal Studies concentration of the Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Program, as well as a minor in Education Leadership and Policy for Equity.
Throughout his early career, Gunnar has shadowed and interned with various government officials including members of the United States Congress, the New York State Lt. Governor, New York State Senators, Erie County Legislators and the Elma Town Supervisor. Gunnar began interning in the New York State Assembly during his first semester of college and after completing his internship, Gunnar was hired as the youngest Legislative Aide in the history of the State Assembly. These experiences afforded Gunnar a greater depth of understanding about the role of government and more importantly, solidified the true value of serving the community.
During his second year of college, Gunnar served as a peer mentor with the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Partnership through the University at Buffalo and Buffalo Public School District, which is focused on transforming STEM education in Buffalo. Furthermore, it was in Gunnar’s senior year of college in which he participated in UB’s partnership with Buffalo Public School 6 to provide literacy training to elementary and middle school international students.
To gain a further understanding of the racial and economic achievement gap that exists in public education, Gunnar has traveled to Monte Cristi in the Dominican Republic twice with the Alternative Break Program offered at the University at Buffalo’s Student Engagement Office. Gunnar and his colleagues traveled abroad to teach English for two weeks to elementary and middle school students.
In recognition for his work in service to public education, Gunnar was awarded the national Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress Fellowship. As a Presidential Fellow, Gunnar has traveled to Washington D.C. conducting research in the field of public education and has met with his colleagues from across the United States to discuss the state of public education in the United States and around the world. In addition, Haberl was a finalist for the US/UK Summer Fulbright and was nominated for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship.
In the Spring of 2018, after serving as Chief of Staff for the Undergraduate Student Association at the University at Buffalo, Gunnar was elected by his peers to serve as their student body president for the 2018-2019 academic school year. Gunnar was passionate about tackling serious issues on behalf of the over 19,000 undergraduate students that he represented and is credited for taking steps to address the student mental health crisis, campus sexual assault and harassment policies, student food insecurity, student access to free personal hygiene products, increasing social awareness and inclusion for students of diverse backgrounds, campus environmental sustainability, student recreational opportunities, and building relationships across the University at Buffalo that were focused on shared governance.
Haberl was awarded the 2019 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence from SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson. The Chancellor’s Award acknowledges students who have received recognition for distinguished achievements, and it is the highest honor bestowed upon a student by the State University of New York.
As a current student at the George Washington University working towards a master degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Education Policy, Gunnar looks to provide the board a new prospective of a lifelong learner.
As a graduate who has experienced some of the changes taking place in education, Gunnar is committed to the excellence that Iroquois provides for its students. Gunnar believes that the education children receive in schools will have a lasting impact on their life and the lives of everyone in our communities. It is Gunnar’s belief that every child deserves the chance to make of their lives what they will, and public education provides that opportunity. Gunnar hopes to inspire, through his actions, the next generation of students to use their voice and advocate for what they believe in.
Michele Hovey, Member
Michelle Hovey, Member
Michele Hovey grew up in Elma and graduated from Iroquois in 1986. She later graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a BA in Mathematics. She is a true believer in the power of quality public education to empower students to succeed in any undertaking they choose.
Living outside of Western NY for several years provided Michele a true appreciation of all this area has to offer. The exceptional public education that Iroquois offers was the deciding factor in the decision to return home. Now, Michele has 3 children, who are the 5th generation of her family to live in Elma. Her daughter is an Iroquois graduate and her two sons are currently students in the High School.
The excellent reputation and the relatively low tax rate of the Iroquois School District are two of the main factors that are helping to improve property values. As a parent, property owner, and real estate professional, Michele has a vested interest in keeping Iroquois the best educational value in the entire region.
Michelle is honored to serve all of the residents and taxpayers of the Iroquois School District. The feeling of community, the sense of pride, and the incredible generosity and support for everyone in this district is something very special.
Louise Toth, Member
Louise Toth, Member
I am honored to serve as a member of the Iroquois Board of Education and am committed to keep the best interest of our students my number one priority. The overseeing of the quality public education of our community’s children is most important while keeping our district as one of the highest rated school districts in Western New York.
I am a 30 + year resident in the District and a graduate of SUNY at Buffalo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management with a major in accounting and two (2) Masters Degrees – Public Administration and Human Services Administration from SUNY College at Buffalo in 2010.
My knowledge and more than 20 years of experience in accounting, fiscal management, and working with budgets will help our board achieve its goals, while being fiscally responsible, maintaining the building and grounds, and our District’s reputation as being exceptional among the community.
I have a child attending the high school and another that graduated. I have a vested interest in our District’s schools and maintaining the highest educational values in the area.
Board of Education Responsibilities
- Collaborate with student, teacher, administrator, and parent organizations, school safety personnel and other school personnel to develop a Code of Conduct that clearly defines expectations for the conduct of students, district personnel and visitors on school property and at school functions.
- Adopt and review at least annually the district's Code of Conduct to evaluate the code's effectiveness and the fairness and consistency of its implementation.
- Lead by example by conducting board meetings in a professional, respectful, and courteous manner.