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James King challenges Fred Bean for Ogdensburg Board of Education seat

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The Ogdensburg Board of Education President Frederick P. Bean’s five-year term is up this year and James P. King has submitted paper work to challenge his re-election bid.

Mr. Bean is a retired Ogdensburg Police sergeant, where he served for 36 years until 2011. He first joined the board in 1994 before being ousted in 2000 by Susan M. Tooley.

He was re-elected in 2007 when he won a one-year seat and in 2008, won a full five-year term. Mr. Bean was elected President of the Board in 2009.

But Mr. King, who ran for the board in 2009 and received 93 votes, is throwing his hat into the ring against Mr. Bean.

Mr. King, a correctional officer at the Ogdensburg Correctional Facility, currently serves as the president of the Madill Elementary School Parent Teacher Association.

Upon taking that position in October, Mr. King has been responsible for overseeing the organization’s fund raising, including book fairs and candy sales, which help pay for field trips and supplemental programing.

Mr. King also has an autistic fourth-grade son in the district, which has made him passionate about special education issues.

“I’d like to make sure the special education portion of our school is given the upmost attention,” he said. “[Ogdensburg] has probably one of the better [special education] programs in the county. I want to see that continue.”

An active participant in the district’s Committee on Special Education, Mr. King said, “I’d like to be a voice for the kids with special needs.”

Additionally, Mr. King said, “I’d like to be a good representative for other taxpayers in the district.”

If elected Mr. King said he would focus on economic transparency and school safety as two primary concerns.

Mr. King, 40, graduated from Heuvelton Central School in 1991 and has lived in Ogdensburg for most of the time since then. His mother, Donna King, also lives in Ogdensburg.

“I’m just a working guy in Ogdensburg,” he said.

Mr. King also has a philosophy about the board of education he hopes will resonate with voters.

“Anyone who gets on the school board should take it seriously,” he said. “You should get in there and be proactive.”

He intends to stay committed to the board, if given the chance, for years to come.

“My son will be in the district for a while,” Mr. King said. “I‘d like to get on the board and take a vested interest.”

Elections will be held May 21.

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