Competition for Saranac Lake school board

SARANAC LAKE – For the second year in a row, voters in the Saranac Lake Central School District will have plenty of candidates to choose from in the May school board election.

At least four people have filed to run so far for two available positions on the district’s Board of Education. Last year, there were six candidates for three seats.

This year, the seats of current board Vice President Clyde Baker and board member Esther Arlan will expire. Both have filed petitions to run again, according to board clerk Christine Fransen. Baker has been on the board since 2008. Arlan served on the board from 1994 to 2003 and again from 2008 to present. Both live in Saranac Lake.

Two other people have also filed petitions to get on the ballot this year: Tracey Schrader of Saranac Lake and Shir Filler of Vermontville. Schrader served on the board from 2007 to 2012 but lost her re-election bid last year. She’s continued to attend board meetings since then. Filler, a North Country Community College English professor, has also been a frequent board meeting attendee and recently served on an interview committee for the district’s new superintendent of schools.

Fransen said one other person, whom she didn’t name, has picked up petitions but hasn’t submitted them yet. Other interested people can still pick up petitions. They have to be submitted to Fransen, whose office is in the Saranac Lake Middle School, by 4 p.m. on April 22.

Baker and Arlan were the last school board members elected to five-year terms. In 2008, the same year they won their current terms, voters agreed to reduce the length of future school board members’ terms to three years.

This year’s school board election and budget vote will be held May 21.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or