Board Candidate Dr. Richard Horvath

Dr. Richard HorvathRichard Horvath, Ph.D., is running for the one board seat vacancy. This is a five-year seat beginning July 1, 2022, and ending June 30, 2027. Currently, Dr. Horvath is president of the Board of Education and has served since 2017. A professor in the Liberal Arts Department at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, Dr. Horvath has lived in the Spackenkill District for 26 years with his wife, Debra, and four children: Luke (Spackenkill class of 2009), Quinn (class of 2011), Marc (class of 2013), and Ian (class of 2019).

Dr. Horvath has been active in the district for many years, serving on the Superintendent Search Committee and a SUFSD Community Planning Team in 2014, as well as participating in the district’s Education Summit in 2013. He has been active in local youth sports organizations, serving on the Board of Directors and managing teams for the Town of Poughkeepsie South Little League and Babe Ruth Baseball from 1997 to 2013 and serving on the Board of Directors and coaching teams for the St. Martin de Porres CYO Basketball program from 1997-2017. He was also a religious education instructor at St. Martin de Porres from 1999 to 2014.

“I joined the BOE because I am proud to live in Spackenkill and grateful for the rich educational experience it afforded my wife Debra’s and my children. I’m eager to contribute to its growth as a diverse, vibrant community,” said Dr. Horvath. “I believe the best version of the BOE incorporates diverse perspectives from all school levels and the community while working cohesively to fulfill the district’s mission. I would like to continue serving in order to see through projects initiated during my tenure, including the completion of the capital project, a five-year fiscal plan, and an anticipated pre-K program, among others.”

Dr. Horvath's areas of expertise include more than 30 years of experience in secondary and higher education in the areas of teaching (literature and writing), curriculum development, and faculty governance. He has served since 2010 as president of a local New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) faculty union, managing faculty-administration relations and leading collective bargaining efforts. For more than 15 years, he helped manage operations and financing for community youth sports organizations. His communications background encompasses career-long professional experience in pedagogy as well as the study, writing, and delivery of research projects to varied audiences.

Among the important challenges facing the district, Dr. Horvath cites “sustaining Spackenkill’s tradition of academic excellence while supporting students of all backgrounds and learning styles, bridging achievement gaps opened by the pandemic, and encouraging diversity among our students and staff.” He believes fostering an environment in which students learn to “become responsible citizens in an interdependent global community” (per the SUFSD mission statement) is vital for the district to fulfill its potential as the core identity of our community.