GCSD Board of Education President elected to New York State Board of Regents

A person smiles confidently at the camera wearing a dark top. The photo is  a tightly cropped head and shoulders shotGuilderland Central School District Board of Education President Dr. Seema Rivera has been elected to the New York State Board of Regents by the State Legislature.

A graduate of Guilderland High School, Dr. Rivera has served on the GSCD Board for nine years, having first been elected in 2015. She became board vice president in 2018 and president in 2019, a position she has held since. “It is an honor to be elected to the Board of Regents,” said Dr. Rivera. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve my community. My experience on the GCSD Board of Education will be invaluable to me while serving as a Regent.”

During her lengthy tenure on the Guilderland Board, Dr. Rivera has often had occasion to help guide the district through many relevant and impactful issues. “I’m proud of our work through COVID and continuing to advocate for equity in our schools. The district was already doing DEI work when I joined the board nine years ago, but I’m happy to have helped make even more progress by working to establish a committee that involves the community and DEI leadership. I’m proud of the commitment to better understanding students, including student voices and being humble in understanding where we need to improve and asking ourselves how we can do so. Working with Dr. Wiles has been fantastic; she is an example of a great leader, and I have definitely learned from her while on the board.”

Announced at the March 5 GCSD Board meeting, Dr. Rivera’s term as a Regent will begin on April 1. She is expected to resign from the board of education at their March 26 meeting. “It’s bittersweet to leave the Guilderland Board of Education,” said Dr. Rivera. “ While I’m excited to start my work on the Board of Regents, I will greatly miss serving in Guilderland. I grew up here; my kids attend school here and I will always hold Guilderland close to my heart. The district has a lot of people who genuinely care about students and our community and we are very fortunate for that.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Marie Wiles said “While Dr. Rivera’s departure will leave a void for the Guilderland Board of Education, it’s a tremendous honor for her to be elected as a Regent. This will provide her with a greater platform to continue to serve students as a proponent of diversity, equity and inclusion. All of us at the Guilderland Central School District wish her much success and thank her for many years of dedication to our students.”

As a Regent, Dr. Rivera will represent the state’s Third Judicial District, which consists of Albany, Schoharie, Rensselaer, Greene, Columbia, Ulster and Sullivan counties, and looks forward to collaborating with others to truly benefit students in a variety of areas. “I have a lot of interest in many topics, such as the Blue Ribbon Commission on graduation measures, specifically alternative assessments, more “real world” foundational learning, authentic experiences and mental health, which continues to impact students both in P-12 and higher education. Overall I pledge to work hard and do my best.”

A statement from State Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. and Commissioner of Education Betty A. Rosa expressed, “These Regents and Regents-Elect share our commitment to prepare all young people for success and create welcoming schools for all students, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, housing status, sexual orientation, immigration status, ability to speak English, or disability status.

Dr. Rivera is an Associate Professor of STEM Education at Clarkson University and began her career as a chemistry teacher in NYS public schools. She received a bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University and a Ph.D. from the University at Albany. Dr. Rivera and her husband have two daughters who attend Guilderland schools.

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