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Meet the School Board Candidates 2020

Meet The Hoosic Valley School Board Candidates
Sponsored by Hoosic Valley PTO

Currently 3 candidates are running for 2 seats, SEE BIOS BELOW.

VOTE by 6/9  using the mail-in ballot 
If you live in the Hoosic Valley school district and are at least 18, you can vote in the upcoming elections for budget items and school board.

Watch the Recording

Candidate Bios

Karen Eileen Carlson

I grew up in the finger lakes and was raised in a family of public school educators.

My husband and I moved to Valley Falls twenty-four years ago.   Our daughters Sarah and Eloise both attended and graduated from Hoosic Valley classes of 2016 and 2019 respectively.   I have been an active Hoosic Valley parent and community member for over seventeen years.

I began my legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Rensselaer County prosecuting sex crimes. I then moved to the NYS Office of Professional Medical Conduct prosecuting physician misconduct.  Currently I supervise a staff of prosecuting attorneys for the NYS Office of Professional Discipline.   I have served and worked with community organizations including board member and Past President of the Board of Directors at Unity House of Troy; The START Children’s Center and The Rape Crisis Center (now called the Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program) at Samaritan Hospital.

My daughters, the elder a recent graduate from St. Michaels College in Vermont and the younger having just finished her freshman year at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, brought me into the Hoosic Valley community.  The commitment and dedication of the teachers, community members and administrators I have met and worked with over the years are what keep me volunteering.  I have been in the the classroom; worked class fundraisers;  am a past president of the Hoosic Valley PTO; and am very proud and still passionate about the work and effort put in by so many in establishing the Hoosic Valley MAC – the booster club for music, art and theatre in our schools. I have been an active member of interview panels for Hoosic Valley principals, superintendents and teachers. Finally, for many years and in any way they would let me, I have been involved with the school musicals (much to the chagrin of the directors, I fear).

I believe we all have a responsibility to volunteer and work with and in our community to make the best impact on our children’s school experience and prepare them for their future.  That’s why I am running for the Board.

Our Hoosic Valley community faces some daunting challenges in these next few years. I am committed to face those challenges honestly, openly and collaboratively with the community and would be honored to have your support in that effort.  Thanks for taking the time to let me introduce myself.


Denise Reilly

I reside in Valley Falls with my husband, Michael, and our two children Logan and Landon, both of whom currently attend Hoosic Valley Jr./Sr. High School. After graduating from Hoosic Valley in 1991, I attended SUNY Oswego where I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a middle school math extension. From there, I received my master’s degree in literacy from SUNY Albany in 2001, while teaching full time.  I have been teaching for twenty-three years in grades four through six, and currently teach sixth grade math at the Saratoga Springs Middle School. 

I have always contributed my time, talents, and energy to the Hoosic Valley community.  I was an active member of the Hoosic Valley Athletic Association for ten years; serving as soccer coordinator, baseball coordinator and baseball chair.  In addition, I also coached youth soccer, little league baseball and CYO basketball.  Each year, since 2010, I have volunteered at the Booster Club fair booths, as well as, the Transfiguration Parish and Methodist Church fair booths.

I have also been very active in a variety of Hoosic Valley community roles and functions. I have served on multiple Hoosic Valley teacher interview committees at both the elementary and high school levels.  I also participated as a community representative for the high school principal interview committee and the superintendent search committee in 2019.  I am currently the co-chair for the Jr./Sr. High School Academic Awards.  

I believe in providing our students with a well-rounded education while remaining fiscally responsible.  What separates me from other candidates during these challenging and unprecedented times is my unique ability to evaluate the issues the Hoosic Valley community faces through the various lenses of a graduate, parent, community member, and veteran teacher.  Because of my teaching experience, I understand the inner workings of a school campus and a school district.  I am invested in ensuring Hoosic Valley provides a quality education for all of our children.  The success of our district necessitates providing support for our faculty, school staff and administrators while fostering a positive culture.  I recognize the value of an open dialogue among stakeholders and the Board of Education. 

I hold myself to a very high standard personally and professionally and I care deeply about serving the Hoosic Valley School District and this community.  I will listen objectively and make informed decisions.   


Jeanette P. Sassatelli

My husband John and I relocated to Valley Falls in 2003 and still consider it one of the smartest choices we have made.  With a rising sixth grader at Hoosic Valley, I am a familiar face at the school and throughout the community serving as a volunteer to numerous organizations in our community.  My roles include, among others, serving as a Trustee on the Hoosic Valley Educational Foundation and on the Valley Falls Free Library board.  For the last 2 years I have served as Chair of the Valley Falls Free Library expansion project which doubled the size of the library.  After years of the library dreaming of improved accessibility and more community space, the time was right and I am incredibly proud of helping usher this dream into a reality.

With 20 years of Corporate Real Estate experience, I have been employed by GE since 2006 in their Properties organization.  Currently my role as Global Transaction Leader creates and drives real estate strategy and savings for GE Corporate’s 200+ locations globally.

I believe my skill set brings a unique perspective to the Board with specific experience in the realities of challenging budgets, changing priorities, managing multiple stakeholders and the difficulty of keeping to a strategy.  I bring extensive fiscal expertise while believing innovation must be sought after and is crucial to our district’s success.

I am running for School Board because I believe great things are happening in our school and community and I want to bring my passion and enthusiasm to this team of dedicated professionals, students and volunteers.