Board Member Biographies

MEET THE BOARD MEMBERS

Kevin Salem (President) was born and raised in Johnstown, PA. After attending the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied psychology and anthropology, he moved to Boston, and continued his career as a musician, composer and record producer. In 1990, he moved to New York City, often residing temporarily in Woodstock, where he recorded at local studios, finally re-settling there in 1998. His daughter is currently enrolled in the High School. In 2012, Salem began a two-year tenure as Bennett Intermediate School's PTA president. He has served on several District committees and is a fervent believer in public education, school sports as a community-building apparatus and progressive political causes. Since 2009, he has also worked closely with Operation Respect in international anti-bullying and peace-building efforts, particularly in the Middle East and the Ukraine, touring schools and working with government agencies, the Department of State and local recording artists to develop a music-based initiative to foster an atmosphere of openness and respect among youth living in areas of conflict.

Laurie Osmond (Vice President is currently serving her eighth year on the Onteora Board of Education.  Since 2008, she was elected Board President for two years, Vice-President for one year, and been a member of the Facilities Committee, Policy Committee, Communications Committee, Health and Wellness Committee and Green Committee. She has been a resident of Willow for the last 12 years and has a child attending Onteora High School. She attended Brown University and San Francisco State University and holds a B.A. in Broadcast Communications Arts. Ms. Osmond serves on the Board of Education because she is passionate about the education and welfare of our young people. She is running for re-election because she wants to contribute to the continuous growth of Onteora's excellence, and believes in maintaining a stable, positive, and respectful Board, working with teachers, administration and staff to maintain and grow the best possible environment for our kids.

Rob Kurnit has been a resident of Woodstock, New York for 25 years. I decided to run for the Onteora School Board so that I could try to help our students succeed in school and in life.  I am now completing my 7th year of board service,  having been active both locally, and on a state level. I have been the co-chair of the Facilities Committee , a member of the Policy Committee and of the Ulster County School Board Association. In 2016 I received the Lifetime Achievement  Award from the New York State School Boards Association.  My interest has always been to try to use a balanced and unified approach, regarding our large geographical district. Ultimately, our focus as board members, is to try to make public education a great experience for all Onteora students.

Valerie Storey was born and raised in the Onteora District - both her and her husband, Marshall, are graduates of Onteora. Ms. Storey has two children that are currently enrolled at the MS/HS. She has been on numerous committees concerning the future of our children. She has been on the District Comprehensive Planning Team: for later start time for the MS/HS. She enjoys reading, camping, and spending as much time as possible with her family. 

Lindsay Shands was born and raised in Shokan, NY. She and her husband attended OCS. However, she moved to Portland, OR in her Junior year and graduated from Westview High School.  She received a bachelors in Anthropology from SUNY New Paltz and a Paralegal Certificate from Marist College.  Lindsay currently works for an attorney in Kingston. She has two children, an infant and an eighth grader. She has always been very involved in her children's education.  Lindsay served as the PTA president of Chamber's Elementary School in 2010-11 and was Vice President of the Bennett Intermediate School in 2013-2014. She also served as facilitator of the Shared Decision Making Committee.   She is a dedicated animal lover and volunteers for Curly Tail Pug Rescue. Lindsay loves to travel with her family and explore the outdoors.  

Bennet Ratcliff  is the son of a public school teacher, and lives in Bearsville with his partner Jacqueline Kellachan, co-owner of The Golden Notebook bookstore. They share a home in Bearsville with six children, a dog and a cat.  Professionally, Mr. Ratcliff has pursued diverse interests.  In education, he created branding and positioning strategies for philanthropic initiations supporting blended learning and closing the achievement gap.  He also advised public school officials in leadership searches and on policy issues. In politics, Mr. Ratcliff created TV and radio ads for President Bill Clinton's 1992 and 1996 Presidential campaigns.  He also advised the Presidents of Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. Twice, he won the prestigious Pollie award from the American Association of Political Consultants for Internet advertising and radio campaigns. In the private sector, Mr. Ratcliff created a methodology for identifying obstacles and opportunities during times of crisis. Collaborating with CEOs, community activists, and government leaders, he finds solutions that integrate public policy, communications, crisis management, legal actions, advertising, and social media. Mr. Ratcliff graduated from Princeton University and did post-graduate studies at the Université de Grenoble in France as a Rotary Foundation Fellow. 

Robert Burke Warren has lived in Phoenicia, NY for fifteen years. He is a teacher, writer, musician, and the Director of Afterschool Enrichment and Communications at the Woodstock Day School. Many in the District know him as children's musician Uncle Rock. He has taught workshops for kids ranging from kindergarteners to seniors, and performed concerts in every Onteora auditorium. Prior to putting down roots in Shandaken in 2002, Robert was a professional musician, actor, and occasional bartender in New York City. He spent most of his childhood in Atlanta, Georgia, and attended both parochial and public schools. (Mostly public.)  Onteora’s excellent reputation drew Robert and his wife, teacher/writer Holly George-Warren, to the District in 2002. Their son attended K through 12, and graduated with honors in 2016. Robert’s debt of gratitude to Onteora and its stakeholders is one of many reasons he sought to be a Trustee. He is committed to helping keep Onteora’s standards high, to engaging the community in the process, and to ensuring every student graduates ready for the world.