I was raised in Farmingville, NY and graduated from Sachem High School in 1998. After graduation, I attended James Madison University in Virginia, where I received a B.A. in History as well as dual certification in Middle and Secondary Education with an intermediate elementary extension. Shortly after graduating from JMU in May 2002, I was hired by the Bay Shore Union Free School District, where I have since taught Global and U.S. History at the 6th and 8th grade levels, served as the advisor to the Homework Club and History Trivia Team, and coached 7th and 8th grade basketball for seven years. These experiences have provided me with the opportunity to expand my leadership skills, while simultaneously improving the students’ academic and athletic abilities.
With regards to the BSCTA, my experience is both comprehensive and diverse. I have served as the Public Relations Chairperson from 2005-2010, 2nd Vice President from 2010-2013, and 1st Vice President from 2013-2016, along with representing the BSCTA as a voting delegate to the NYSUT and AFT conventions. In addition, I have regularly attended and contributed to our BSCTA Executive and Governing Board meetings, monthly discussions with Bay Shore’s Central Administration, local and statewide political rallies, and forums with other union locals throughout Long Island. I am a member of the district-wide APPR committee and most recently helped organize a successful educational forum at the Bay Shore-Brightwaters Library. If I am given the opportunity to serve as the BSCTA President, I look forward to leading our union of teachers into a new age of public education, where the fight to preserve the integrity of our profession must be strengthened. Furthermore, I believe that transparency, member involvement, and solidarity are the keys to our survival as a union.
1ST VICE PRESIDENT
For my Bachelor’s Degree, I attended Boston University and SUNY Stony Brook. I completed my Master of Arts in Teaching at Stony Brook in 1998. Hired by the Bay Shore School District in 2000, I was given the opportunity to teach science at the middle school level for thirteen years and am currently at the high school for the past three years. I have been a duly elected union representative to the BSCTA from both the middle school and high school for over a decade. Being a union representative has afforded me the opportunity to communicate with various members of our union while becoming aware of ongoing matters. Working with our governing board while dealing with district wide concerns and helping individuals with matters at a building level has offered me the necessary insight to understand some of the key interests, as well as the needs of our union. In my conversations with many staff members, it has become clear that we need to work together to keep our union and our profession from being manipulated by external forces. It is my firm belief that we should not be afraid to take a stand or do what we know is right and necessary. With that being said, we need be mindful of what is best for all. I am proud to be a member of our community. My wife, Tara and I have been employees of this district for sixteen years and we have three beautiful children. It would be an honor to serve as the Vice President of our union.
This is my first year teaching English at the high school after twelve years at Bay Shore Middle School. I have served as Political Action Chairperson on the Executive Board of the BSCTA since 2008. During this time, I have dedicated myself to understanding the needs of our members and communicating our concerns by attending weekly and monthly meetings including BSCTA Governing Board, Executive Board, Cabinet Executive (with central administration), NYSUT local and regional district meetings, and yearly lobbying for teachers and students in Albany. As Political Action chairperson I have written editorials, organized letter-writing/email campaigns and local rallies, coordinated school budget, board of election, and legislative campaign efforts, all to stem the destructive tide of attacks on public education. My approach has been thoughtful and action-oriented. I am proud to be a positive contributor to our Bay Shore School Community, having given 110% during tough times including helping to pass a tax-cap piercing 5.9% school budget--an achievement unparalleled throughout our state. As a contributor to local governance, I have volunteered additional service, participating on executive BSCTA committees and APPR negotiations. My experience with district, regional, state and national union efforts makes me uniquely qualified to serve in this capacity and has allowed me to develop relationships and learn from colleagues in neighboring unions and across the state. If so honored, I will bring my focus, energy and experience to the position of 1st Vice President of the BSCTA.
2ND VICE PRESIDENT
I am honored to be running for the position of 2nd Vice President of OUR UNION! I have gotten to know many of you during my 21 years as a Special Education Teacher (Self-Contained Global History) and 9 years as the Head Varsity Football Coach for Bay Shore High School. For those I have yet to meet, here is a little info about me. I am the oldest (and only son) of five siblings. Broadway and theater were a major part of my family and entire childhood. While participating in the arts, I came into my own as a student and a person by playing and (later) coaching football at Bellport High School. These well-rounded experiences have had a major impact on my personal and professional life. I love performing classroom lessons and cherish teaching the values of hard work and perseverance to my students. I believe that a strong leader will use all parts of their personality to inspire excellence. My students are more than a test score or evaluation. I will always be that kind of teacher. As a Coach, my greatest accomplishment was organizing and creating the Breast Cancer Awareness Football Scrimmage that still is in existence each August. Our team has volunteered every year with the Judi Shesh Run and I have spoken about my family’s unfortunate experience with the disease at the BSHS Breast Cancer Brunch. Each event we participated in was in line with the greater goal of promoting prevention and perseverance for all in our community who are affected by Breast Cancer. On the field, we led Bay Shore to a return to the playoffs after a 19-year drought and made it back for 5 consecutive years. I stepped away from coaching to watch my oldest play college football, my middle guy play varsity football, and my daughter dance and act. I have been honored to have been a Building Rep for the past 10 years and have enjoyed this past half year as the Co-Chief Rep. I have participated in local Opt-Out rallies and look forward to continuing these efforts. When we picketed our various state legislators last year there was no moment when I was more proud to be a BSTCA member. I am proud to have stood with my fellow teachers to protest the unfair policies put forth by State governmental leadership. They heard our voice as evidenced by recent changes in policy. However, our work is not done! If given the chance to become the BSTCA 2nd Vice President, I promise to bring my extensive experience as a well-rounded leader to the position. I am committed to strengthening the BSCTA within my role and I pledge to support every teacher at every level in our district.
Michelle Stowers has been a teacher in Bay Shore for the past 17 years. After graduating from Pace University Graduate School of Education, she was hired as a kindergarten teacher in 1999 at Fifth Avenue School, and has since taught kindergarten and first grade, as well as pre-k in the Bay Shore Summer Program from 2000-2011. During her tenure as a teacher she has been nominated for Disney’s Teacher of the Year Award, and was chosen as the New York Lottery’s Teacher of the Week. Michelle has held numerous positions on district committees including math, report card, language arts, multicultural, and superintendent’s advisory council. In addition, Michelle participates in Bay Shore Dances as a step/dance instructor, she is the chairperson of the Multicultural Committee at Fifth Avenue School, ENL push-in teacher, and Michelle was recently given the title as SCOPE consultant for Bay Shore to train district mentors and to prepare them to mentor new teachers to complete New York State certification requirements. Michelle was a union rep for two years and for the past 10 years she has been the New Teacher Coordinator on the executive board. As the New Teacher Coordinator, she organizes professional development workshops for new teachers as they transition into the Bay Shore School District and provides new teachers with opportunities for growth through instruction, discussion, and reflection. She also serves as a resource and support system for new teachers. In addition, she schedules other workshops such as CPR, First-Aid, and financial planning for district employees. Michelle also has a passion for education, and has obtained three Masters Degrees in education, specializing in technology integration and administration and supervision. After completing these degrees, she provided technology training in the Bay Shore Teacher’s Academy and instructed many of our current teachers on how to use technology more effectively in the classroom. Again, Michelle became a reliable resource for teachers in the district. Michelle was also chosen to train the substitute teachers in technology. As an avid supporter of learning, she truly values education, and is still pursuing one more degree, a Ph.D. from Hofstra University. After completing three years of course work and successfully completing her oral exam, she aspires to complete her doctoral coursework in the coming years. Michelle has been the Bay Shore Summer Enrichment Director for grades 1-6 for the past 5 years. As the director, she oversees the ENL summer program, and works side-by-side with the special education program to provide integrated opportunities for collaborative learning for all participating students. Michelle has been dedicated to the well-being of Bay Shore for the last 17 years. As a confident, woman of color, she hopes to continue to represent and advocate for the elementary teachers, teachers of color, female teachers, and all teachers, in the Bay Shore district as the 2nd vice president of the union.
My name is Gale Falconer and I am a lifelong Bay Shore resident. My husband, Bill (GM) and I raised our three children here. All three of our children have become successful professionals and we have been blessed with one amazing grandson and are looking forward to arrival of our granddaughter! I have been teaching in Mary G. Clarkson for 20 years. I have been active in the union for the past 11. I began my involvement as the Public Relations Chairperson where my responsibilities included keeping strong teacher/community ties. I was asked to take on the task of Secretary shortly after. In that position, I was responsible for union meeting minutes and ensuring that all meetings were held according to our bylaws. After several years in that position, I was asked to become the Treasurer. In this position, I am responsible for keeping the financials; working with our accountants, and ensuring that all disbursements adhere to our bylaws. I regularly attend NYSUT financial meetings for treasurers, the RA’s and AFT conferences. I also attend the Bay Shore Summit monthly meetings as the BSCTA representative. I am proud to be a part of the BSCTA Board and all that I have accomplished.