OXFORD – When Oxford voters hit the polls on May 18, they will not only be deciding the fate of the district’s proposed $17,087,976 budget, but determining who will fill a vacant seat on the school’s board of education as well. Two candidates are vying for the spot: incumbent School Board President Robin DeBrita and challenger Joseph Spence.
DeBrita, who moved in Oxford with her husband Tom in 1983, is seeking her fifth term on the board.
“I believe our district’s most pressing concern is effective communications and mutual understanding,” the current school board president reported. “While our state’s financial condition and governmental actions present significant challenges, our future depends on our ability to maximize all district resources to their fullest. This includes our facilities, our finances and most of all, our people.”
DeBrita said she has seen a great deal of change in the district in terms of both services provided and community expectations in her 12 years on the board. She has enjoyed her experience and the chance to give back to the community, she said, and hopes to continuing to serve the district.
“BOE service is hard work, but I believe it is a good match with my professional training and experiences,” she said.
In addition to her years of service on the board, DeBrita says she brings the perspective of a district parent to the board, as well as her 29 years of experience in finance and management. A graduate of Clarkson University, since 1998 she has been employed by Amphenol Aerospace in Sidney, where she currently serves as the Credit Manager/Cost Specialist.
For DeBrita, her proudest moment as a school board member is seeing an Oxford student receive his or her diploma at graduation.
“It speaks to the on-going commitment of a community to educate its children and I’m proud to be a part of the leadership that maintains and improves this process,” she explained.
In addition to her role on the Oxford school board, DeBrita has been involved with a number of school and community activities, many in support of her four children. Those involvements have included band boosters, Odessey of the Mind, the Oxford Youth Sports Program, Chenango Chargers, After-Prom planning committee and the Shared Decision Making Team. She is also an active member of Christ Lutheran Church in Norwich.
DeBrita’s challenger is Oxford resident Joseph Spence. While this is Spence’s first run for school board, he is no stranger to public office, having served on the Village of Oxford’s Board of Trustees since 2003.
Spence, who holds a master’s degree in counseling and student development from the University of Buffalo, has been on the faculty at Broome Community College since 1997. He moved to Oxford 11 years ago with his wife, Kelly Stark Spence, who is herself a graduate of the district...