Board of Ed election, budget vote in Penn Yan May 17

John Christensen
The Chronicle Express
The annual budget vote and election of board of education members will be held May 17 at the Penn Yan Academy gymnasium from noon until 8 p.m.

-- Four candidates in race for one Board of Education seat

-- $39,368,931 budget proposed for 2022-'23

PENN YAN — The annual budget vote and election of board of education members will be held May 17 at the Penn Yan Academy gymnasium from noon until 8 p.m.

Four vie for one Board of Education seat

There is one seat available on the Board of Education for the Penn Yan Central School District with a three-year term. A virtual "Meet The Candidates Night" will be held Wednesday, May 4, at 5 p.m. at or

dial in to: 1-401-903-0802. PIN: 428 681 656#

The candidates are:

Kelly Christensen

Personal History: Kelly and her husband, Derek, live in Penn Yan with their two children, Owen and Grace. Kelly has lived in Penn Yan School District for 11 years and has many ties to the community.


Occupation/Career: Kelly currently works as an Assistant Professor of the Applied Health and Wellness Division at Keuka College.

Educational Background: Kelly earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Science and she holds a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy From Keuka College. She received her Doctorate Degree from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Community Activities: Kelly is a Faculty Athletic Representative at Keuka College as well as being a Faculty Council Representative and an Advisor to SLS (Honor Society). She has assisted with youth basketball and youth tee-ball and is a member of the Elks.

What experience do you have that makes you qualified to be a Board Member? In her current role with Keuka College, Kelly has been involved in higher education for the past five years. She has developed a strong understanding for policy and procedure and feels she has effective communication skills. She works very well in team environments and believes her perspective and experience will be a strong asset for the Board.

Reasons you wish to become a Board Member and/or goals you have if you are elected: Kelly believes it is important to become involved with the community. Since she has children enrolled in Penn Yan CSD, becoming a school board member is a perfect opportunity to support the students in their education careers. Kelly believes her knowledge, dedication and passion for education will be beneficial to the Penn Yan Central School District.

Kenneth Kamholtz

Personal History: Kenneth and his wife, Cindy, have lived in Penn Yan since 1986. They raised four grown children in Penn Yan.


Occupation/Career: Kenneth has been a local business owner of Lighthouse Investigations & Services since 2013 and prior to that was a Yates County Deputy, Sergeant and Criminal Investigator for 21 years.

Educational Background: Kenneth holds a Master’s Degree in Business Management and Leadership from Liberty University with a minor in Political Sciences.

Community Activities: Kenneth is a Deacon at the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Penn Yan.

What experience do you have that makes you qualified to be a Board Member? Kenneth has 40 years of navigating government bureaucracy at the federal, state and local level. He believes he has the attitude, skills and knowledge to thoughtfully consider the issues; to work with members of the Board and other stakeholders for the purpose of obtaining and maintaining excellence in education.

Reasons you wish to become a Board Member and/or goals you have if you are elected: Kenneth wishes to be part of the process that provides students with the resources to achieve excellence. He would like to continue the good work of establishing policy that does not hinder the educators’ ability to educate. He believes education is consistently changing and he is concerned that the basics of education, the three R’s, may be sidelined. The curriculum should include that which best equips students with knowledge and skills to achieve excellence. Having educated students requires having well resourced educators. The resources educators need to keep them sharp and motivated should be made available. He believes students today are sexualized and psychologized, PK through 12th grade. He believes school boards, administrators and educators should not insert themselves into the processes reserved to the parents and guardians

Brian Shriver

Personal History: Brian and his wife, Pamela, live in Branchport with their two children, Henry and Alyssa. Brian and Pamela grew up in the District and moved back to the area in 2015.


Occupation/Career: Brian is a home inspector and a Code Enforcement Officer.

Educational Background: Brian attended Finger Lakes Community College as well as Empire State College.

Community Activities: Brian is an active member of the American Legion, the VFW and the Chamber of Commerce.

What experience do you have that makes you qualified to be a Board Member? As a parent of school aged children and a business owner, Brian feels he has the necessary experience and skills to be an asset to the Board of Education. He is very active in the community and has experience in effective communication and leadership.

Reasons you wish to become a Board Member and/or goals you have if you are elected: Brian believes making sound educational decisions is important in being a Board member. If elected, his goal is to set aside politics and make decisions in the best interest of the students.

Kenneth Walker

Personal History: Kenneth and his wife, Kelley, have two children, Kagan and Kaitlyn and have lived in Penn Yan for 14 months. Kagan has graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Kaitlyn attends Penn Yan Academy as a sophomore.


Occupation/Career: Kenneth is currently an Administrator/ Educator at Keuka College.

Educational Background: B.A. from St. Anselm College (English); MA (English) From Iowa State University, M.S. Disability Services in High Education, City University of New York School of Professional Studies. (CUNY-SPS)

Community Activities: Kenneth moved to Penn Yan approximately 14 months ago. He is a volunteer for Friends of the Outlet. Previously, he was a volunteer softball coach for New Hampshire State Prison for Women, Manager of Bedford, NH Babe Ruth Baseball League, as well as volunteering for the Bedford (New Hampshire) Public Library Strategic Planning Committee.

What experience do you have that makes you qualified to be a Board Member? Kenneth has worked in higher education for 35 years as an instructor and as an administrator. Much of his work concentrated on ensuring the success of his first college students. He has a deep understanding of the transition from secondary education to higher education. He has significant experience working as a committee member, a collaborator supporting initiatives to advance institutional and community goals, and as a town league athletic coach. With his spouse, they have raised two children who have advanced through public education.

Reasons you wish to become a Board Member and/or goals you have if you are elected: Kenneth believes he can help the District by applying his combined professional experience in the college setting and his personal experience as a parent supporting two children in their pursuit of public education. He is committed to the goal of ensuring quality instruction to a diverse student population, and he has a passion for lifelong learning, which he believes can be inspired by and fostered within public education. While Penn Yan is not his place of origin, it is his home town. He brings a commitment to service to the community and he pledges to strive toward continued excellence in the education of our youth.

Proposed Budget

In a newsletter mailed to PYCSD residents, Superintendent Howard Dennis and the board president outlined the proposed $39,368,931 budget.

"We are very proud of the work that the District has been able to do in presenting a quality budget after the last couple of atypical years while keeping the tax increase to a minimum amount. We understand that many other costs are increasing at this time. The average taxpayer will see a 1.98% increase in their tax levy with this spending plan.

"Penn Yan prides itself on working hard to keep the tax rate low while offering quality opportunities for our students. This is shown by being a leader in the region with sports, music and educational offerings. Our offerings continue to set our students up for success for what comes next in life whether it is college, work-force, hands-on careers or military. This tax rate also includes the collection of taxes for both the Penn Yan and Branchport Public Libraries. We are proud to be able to offer a high-quality education at a low cost to the tax payers. This work is done through careful, thoughtful multi-year plans and maximizes grants and other sources of income."

There will be a public budget hearing Wednesday, May 4 at 6:30 p.m. in the Penn Yan Elementary School Cafeteria.

Those wishing to see a more detailed breakdown of the revenues and expenditures before the hearing may see hard copies available in each school office, the Penn Yan Public Library, and the Branchport Library. It is also viewable on the district’s website at Voters may also contact the District Office at 315-536-3371 to receive more information or to ask questions.

Expenditures, non-instruc.
Instruc. exp.
Transport exp.
Comm. Svcs. exp.
Employee exp.



Shall the Board of Education of the Penn Yan Central School District be authorized to expend the sums set forth in the proposed budget for the 2022-2023 school year in the amount of $39,368,931 and to levy the necessary tax therefore?


Shall the Board of Education purchase and finance four student transport vehicles at an estimated cost not to exceed $450,000, including necessary furnishings, fixtures and equipment and all other costs incidental thereto and to expend a total sum not to exceed $450,000, which is estimated to be the total maximum cost thereof, and levy a tax for the foregoing in the amount of $450,000, which shall be levied and collected in annual installments in such years and in such amounts as may be determined by the Board of Education and in anticipation of the collection of such tax, bonds and notes of the District are hereby authorized to be issued at one time or from time to time in the principal amount not to exceed $450,000, and a tax is hereby voted to pay the interest on said obligations when due?

  • MAY 4 at 6:30 p.m. PYE CAFETERIA
  • MAY 6 at 9 a.m. DISTRICT OFFICE
  • MAY 9 at  noon DISTRICT OFFICE