JPS School Budget Vote & Board Election to Take Place May 16


JPS School Budget Vote & Board Election to Take Place May 16

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Jamestown Public Schools

District voters will have the opportunity to approve the Jamestown Public Schools budget and vote for three members of the district’s board of education on Tuesday, May 16.

On Wednesday, April 19, the JPS Board of Education approved the district’s proposal for a $101,475,978 budget for the 2023-24 school year that includes a 0% increase to the tax levy as well as the creation of a $5 million dollar capital reserve fund that will help the district plan for future capital projects.

“This proposed budget will add critical positions that will continue to directly help our students’ and families’ social and emotional needs as well as directly address the academic impacts of our COVID shutdowns, especially in the areas of English/Language Arts, Reading and Literacy, and mathematics,” said Dr. Kevin Whitaker, JPS Superintendent. “Paired with continued investment in our physical plant to complement our ongoing capital project, we believe this to be a great budget for the kids of our community.”

The proposed budget also calls for the addition of an assistant principal and additional second grade teacher at M.J. Fletcher Elementary School, as well as athletic equipment, athletic uniforms technology equipment, additional academic support centers staffed by specialists in reading and mathematics, updates to the tracks at Persell and Washington, renovation and relocation of the nurse’s office Washington for the creation of a school-based health center, and upgrades to the heating system at Persell.

A Budget Hearing will take place on Tuesday, May 9 at 6 p.m. at Jefferson Middle School.

Four candidates are also on the ballot to fill three open seats on the district’s board of education:

Paul Abbott, an incumbent, is seeking his sixth term, having started on the board in July 2008. Mr. Abbott has served as the Board of Education President since 2016. He is a JHS alumnus and graduated from JCC, the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Academy and the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va. He is retired as the Investigative Commander of the Jamestown Police Department and is currently employed by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Abbott and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters: Kelsey, a 2013 JHS graduate and Hannah, a 2017 JHS graduate.

Christine Schnars, an incumbent, is seeking her third term on the board since returning to it in 2017. She has been a member of the BOE for 31 years. She currently serves as second vice president and Area 3 Director for NYSSBA and is currently a member of the Erie 2 Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES Board. She is a past president of the Fletcher PTA and served on the NYSPTA Board of Governors. Mrs. Schnars, her husband Jim and their four children are all JHS alumni. She currently has five grandchildren in the Jamestown schools.

John Panebianco is seeking his first term on the Board of Education. Mr. Panebianco worked for Jamestown Public Schools for 14 years, retiring as director of human resources. A graduate of JHS, Mr. Panebianco and his wife, Cindy, have one son Michael, a JHS graduate and local attorney, and two grandchildren. Mr. Panebianco is a United States Air Force and Army National Guard veteran and holds an associate’s degree from JCC and a bachelor’s, master’s and two administrative degrees from SUNY Fredonia. He is an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, a past board member of the Jamestown Community Learning Council and YMCA Camp Onyahsa, and serves as a mentor with Chautauqua Striders.

Missy Paterniti is seeking her first term on the JPS Board of Education. She graduated from Jamestown High School in 1993 and received an associate’s degree from SUNY Jamestown Community College in 1996. Ms. Paterniti previously worked for The Resource Center and Uber/Lyft rideshare services. She returned to the area in 2019 after previously living in Austin, Texas and currently works for Ballgame Heroes. She is a member of the JPS Safety Committee and also helped raise funds for a memorial to late JHS student Lexy Hughan.

Voters can cast their vote at any of our three polling sites: Jefferson, Lincoln, and Washington schools. The polls will be open from noon to 9 p.m. on May 16.

Registered voters who are not able to vote in person on Election Day may be eligible to vote by absentee ballot. Reasons for voting by absentee ballot include: Absence from county on election day; temporary illness or physical disability; permanent illness or physical disability; duties related to primary care of one or more individuals who are ill or physically disabled; resident or patient of Veterans Health Administration Hospital or detention in jail/prison, awaiting trial, awaiting action by a grand jury, or in prison for conviction of a crime or offense which was not a felony. Applications can be obtained through the District Clerk, in person, by mail, or by phone. (District Offices, 197 Martin Road, Jamestown, NY, 716- 483-4420). Those wishing to receive the ballot by mail must apply by May 9. Absentee ballots must be received in person, or by mail, by 5 p.m. on May 16.

To be eligible to vote in the JPS Budget/Board of Education Election, an individual must be: at least 18 years of age, a United States citizen, a resident of the Jamestown City School District for at least 30 days prior to May 16, and a registered voter. If you have a question regarding voter eligibility, please contact the District Clerk at (716) 483-4420.

For more information on the 2023-24 school budget and the board member election, visit