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.
Emily Sherry (Vice President) lives in Woodstock and is the co-owner of Provisions Woodstock, and the COO (and one of the original founders) of The Table at Woodstock (501c3). The Table is a feeding program administered by Provisions that provides meals & grocery boxes to individuals & families (in need) in the Onteora District - at no cost. Emily has four children – 3 who attend/attended OCSD. Emily’s oldest daughter is studying Phlebotomy, her middle daughter is a 2018 Onteora graduate, currently Pre-Law at Hobart & William Smith Colleges, one son is a Freshman, and the other a 6th grader at Bennett. Prior to joining the restaurant industry, Emily was a Social Worker for many years, traveled extensively as the General Manager of an Extreme Sports Team, and served as the Chief Operating Officer of two successful food driven companies. Emily has extensive training in mediation, working with children & adolescents, communication, resource building and problem solving. Emily holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and is completing a Masters in Higher Education.
Laurie Osmond has served on the Onteora board since 2008, as both Board President and Vice-President, 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 since 2004 and her child is an Onteora graduate. She attended Brown University and San Francisco State University and holds her degree in broadcast communications. Ms. Osmond is a real estate agent and freelance video producer specializing in marketing and promotion. Before moving to Woodstock, she was a Director of On-Air Promotion at FX, a senior writer/producer at ABC network and started her own company producing behind-the-scenes video for film and television. The daughter of a public school teacher, Ms. Osmond serves on the Board of Education because she is passionate about the education and well-being of our young people. She is committed to the continuous growth of Onteora's excellence and progressive vision. She works to maintain a stable, positive, and respectful Board, one that works with teachers, students, parents, administration and staff to create the best possible environment for our young people.
Valerie Storey was born and raised in the Onteora District - both she and her husband, Marshall, are graduates of Onteora. Ms. Storey has two children one is currently enrolled at the MS/HS, the other is a graduate. 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.
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, two dogs and a cat. Professionally, Mr. Ratcliff has pursued diverse interests in education, philanthropy, politics, and the private sector. Twice, he won the prestigious Pollie award from the American Association of Political Consultants for Internet advertising and radio campaigns. He has advised the Presidents of the United States, Mexico, Honduras, Colombia, Ecuador, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet. His work is at the intersection of public policy, elections, communications, crisis management, legal actions, advertising, and social media. Currently, he is writing a collection of interlocking short fiction. His non-fiction essays on angling in the Catskills have appeared in The Woodstock Times. Mr. Ratcliff graduated from Princeton University and did post-graduate studies at the Université de Grenoble in France as a Rotary Foundation Fellow.
Dafne DeJesus lives in West Shokan and has been a resident of the District for 13 years. She is the Confidential Secretary to the Ulster County Comptroller. She has two children enrolled in Onteora schools, a second grader at Phoenicia and a sixth grader at Bennett, and is an active member of the PTA at both schools. Dafne spent most of her childhood in NYC, as well as several years in the Philippines, attending both public and private schools here and abroad. She is a member of the Health and Wellness committee, and is dedicated to the well-being, equity, and progress of the students, as well as the teachers, in the district. She is the founder of Helping Hands—Olive/Shandaken/Woodstock, an online forum that enables neighbors and strangers alike to help one another in times of crisis (such as house fires, terminal illnesses, food insecurity, domestic violence, etc.). She is also involved with the Woodstock Women’s March, and has been featured as a guest speaker. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, and after a career in fashion and costume design and illustration, relocated to the Catskills in 2002.
Cindy Bishop has lived in Hurley for seven and a half years. Cindy was Onteora’s Director of Pupil Personnel Services starting in May 2012, until she retired in June 2021. Her previous work experience includes serving as a general education teacher, special education teacher, and summer school principal for the Monticello Central School District; a special education training and resource center coordinator for Ulster BOCES; and the director of special education for the Hyde Park Central School District. Cindy holds a master’s degree in Special Education for Kindergarten through Grade 12, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education for Pre-K through Grade 6, both issued by SUNY New Paltz. She also earned an associate’s degree in Business from SUNY Orange and a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Educational Leadership from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Cindy has a granddaughter who attended Onteora’s Universal PreK program at Beginnings Preschool before moving on to Woodstock Elementary School, where she is in Grade 3. Her community service includes being a member of Woodstock Immigrant Support and the Ulster Immigrant Defense Network, and serving as a volunteer Ashokan Rail Trail Steward.