Opinion: OFA school board candidate cites ability to work as part of team
Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 11:05 am

Hello, my name is James (“Jim”) LaFave, and I am announcing my candidacy for a seat the Ogdensburg City School District Board of Education.

The following are some of my personal & work history background. I am a recently retired NYS Correction Sergeant, having served the NYS Department of Corrections for the past 29 years. While working in Corrections I have also served as a member of the Crisis Intervention Unit Team (C.I.U.) and was then selected several years later by the Deputy Commissioner of Corrections & Superintendent to become the Ogdensburg Correctional CIU Team Leader. This team is an emergency response team for the NYS DOCCS specializing in Hostage Negotiations, Survival, and Rescue, but also has daily duties such as specializing in Gang Identifications, Tracking and Investigations.

The CIU Team also works closely with outside Police agencies at the State & Federal levels involving investigations. I have also trained in various other tasks such as suicide prevention, identification and testing for illicit drugs, as well as taken NIMS (National Incident Management Systems – Incident Command) training. I am also currently the Northern Region Representative of the New York State Correction Officers Police Benevolence Association (NYSCOPBA) Retirees Chapter.

My work history shows that I have proven to be a great team member working together well with others. I am an effective communicator and good listener and I have always strived to be sincere, honest and gracious.

I had intended to run for a seat in the past for Ogdensburg City School District Board of Education but, due to family illnesses, I was prevented from doing so. I am currently widowed since August of 2019. My wife “Annie” passed away due to cancer. Currently in my life I am more than willing and able to serve as a member of the Ogdensburg School Board. I am an everyday man that can work for everyday people. I have not made this decision in haste, especially with point in time being one of the toughest times to serve on the Ogdensburg School Board. I am willing to make the tough decisions and will respect the opinions of other Board Members, district staff, teachers, students, parents, and the community.

Currently, New York State is struggling with a pandemic and facing steep cuts to our school districts’ State aid. Additionally, staff and students are also dealing with the difficulties of remote learning, but due to the hard work of teachers, staff, students and parents, they have successfully adapted to keep up with remote learning.

I want to serve and support our school district and do not have any agendas besides making the district the best it can be for our community. I am running to ensure that our school district is preparing all our students to become productive and successful members of society. I also believe the district should help prepare the students that wish to continue their education in colleges and universities, as well as trades & vocations. I believe one child is no more important than another. We are a diverse community and must cultivate that diversity. Our schools are here to serve the educational needs of all our children.

New York State and the Ogdensburg City School District will face significant challenges this coming school year. With my energy, ideas and spirit of collaborating with my fellow Board Members, administration, students, parents and community members, we can create positive change. With positive change the Ogdensburg City School District can continue to put our students first.

If anyone would like to contact me with questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to contact me by my email: [email protected].

I humbly ask for your consideration and support in this very important election. Your absentee ballot must be received by June 9th. Every vote counts!

James LaFave

Ogdensburg City School District Board of Education candidate