Meet the Board of Education

William (Bill) Callanan

Term expires 6/30/2025

William (Bill) Callanan previously served for four years on the Stillwater Board of Education. He lives in Stillwater with his wife, Renee, who has been a teacher at Stillwater for the past 20 years, and their children Aidan and Madelyn. Aidan is a current 8th grader and Madelyn is a 7th grader.

Callanan is the Assistant Superintendent of the Albany terminal for Global Companies, where he oversees the facilities budget and everyday operations.

“I feel that this gives me a great background to bring to the table when helping to make wise financial decisions for the district,” Callanan said. He has proudly coached football for many years at the modified level as well as the youth Battle program. He currently volunteers his time as an assistant with the varsity football program. “It is my pleasure to be involved in the betterment of the Stillwater Central School District,” Callanan said. “We are very proud Warriors! I am very committed to helping this community in any way possible.”

As a previous Board member, Callanan served on the Facilities and Planning committees and was actively involved in overseeing campus projects and improvements. He was involved in looking at proposed curriculum and other important ideas brought to the table to make school better for students. Callanan believes in open and clear communication and community involvement. “I feel that after getting rolling in the first few years, I am really settling into a groove to do even more as a member of the Board of Education, so I can continue to help create an even better Stillwater,” he said.

Amanda Cocozzo

Term Expires: 6/30/2025

Amanda Cocozzo was elected to the Board of Education in May 2019. She is a graduate of Mechanicville High School and Daemen College, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy.  Cocozzo and her husband Joe live in the town of Stillwater with their two sons, Anthony and James.

Cocozzo currently works as a physical therapist for Capital Area Physical Therapy and Wellness in Malta, NY.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve our community, teachers and students, as a member of the Stillwater board of education,” Cocozzo said. “My children have had such great experiences thus far as students in the Stillwater school district. The teachers and staff have been extremely supportive and have gone above and beyond making their experience fun as well. I feel the best way I can give back is by being a voice for them and our community so as to help assure the same experience for those to come.”

Joshua Eiffe

Term expires 6/30/2026

Joshua Eiffe lives in Stillwater with his wife, Alicia, and children, Ella and Asher. Ella will be in second grade at Stillwater Elementary in fall 2023 and Asher will begin pre-K.

Joshua graduated from Shenendehowa High School and earned a Bachelor of Science at Keuka College. He is an account manager with a large health insurance company, a background that will benefit his service on the Board.

“I am no stranger to financials, contracts and making tough decisions, but most of all I work toward ensuring members have the best experience and care they can have,” Joshua said. “I plan to apply this knowledge to the school board, ensuring wise and logical decisions are made for our children and staff.

“Family is number one for me, so the opportunity to serve our community and make sure our children grow up in the best possible environment is my top priority.”

Darrell Hazen

Term Expires: 6/30/2026

Darrell Hazen was elected to the Board of Education on May 16, 2023 and was sworn in on May 23, 2023 to fill a vacancy on the board.

Darrell and his wife, Stephanie, have three children in the district, one in each the Elementary, Middle and High School. They participate in many of the offered activities, including sports, band, chorus, and drama.

Darrell has served on the district’s Shared Decision Making Committee, Elementary School Principal Selection Committees and Challenged Books Review Committee. He’s also assisted Stephanie in her roles as past PTA president and vice president.

In the community, Darrell has volunteered at the Stillwater Community Center with youth sports activities.

Darrell is vice president of operations for a national medical gas service company, with 24 years of experience in logistics, fiscal management, human resources, employee management and training, and regulatory compliance.

As a board member, he promises to do his “best to bring a fresh perspective and contribute to the school district mission statement: ‘We are Stillwater, striving to create an inclusive culture with diverse and enriching opportunities that promote student success through continuous improvement and community involvement.’”

Melissa DeCota

Term Expires: 6/30/2027

Melissa DeCota is seeking her first term on the board. She works as a program manager for a reputable consulting firm and brings over a decade of expertise in the field of energy efficiency and sustainability. She earned an associate’s degree in drafting and design from Ulster County Community College before transferring to Union College, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in math and biology.

Melissa is proud to call Stillwater home, enjoying its rich community heritage and the small-town ambiance. It’s one of the reasons she moved back to the area four years ago with her husband Matt and their three children – Jackson, Dallas and Adelaide.

An involved parent, Melissa is a member of the Stillwater Elementary PTA and volunteers for school events and field trips as often as possible. She’s also a member of the shared decision-making committee.

As a board candidate, Melissa strives to provide Stillwater students with a robust education that prepares them to be future leaders. She’s dedicated to fostering a safe and welcoming learning environment, ensuring the community continues to provide the resources and support necessary for “our children’s growth, success and overall well-being.”

Valerie Masterson

Term expires 6/30/2026

Valerie Masterson has been involved in the Stillwater school community for more than 40 years, including serving on the Board of Education for 27 years and as a PTA officer, Odyssey of the Mind coach, trustee and elder of the Stillwater United Church trustee and elder, and Stillwater town councilwoman.

During her past service on the Board of Education, Valerie served as board president, vice president, chairperson of the finance and policy committees and member of the program, facilities, school safety, and website committees.

Valerie has three grown children, Michael, Matthew and Meaghan, all of whom are Stillwater graduates.

About serving on the Board, she said, “I believe the children of Stillwater are our most precious asset. The world they will grow up in will most certainly be challenging in ways that we cannot even conceive at this point in time. It is our job to give them a solid educational base, fostering the very best in all of them and contributing to their continued success.”

Robert McCoy

Term expires 6/30/2025

Robert McCoy is serving his first term on the Stillwater Board of Education. He lives in Stillwater with his wife, Shelby, and two children, who both attend Stillwater Schools.

McCoy is a small business owner and stay-at-home dad who said he “is looking to bring back community communication to our school board. Your child, your choice: I believe we need to get the students back to learning and thriving in Stillwater, and in a close sense of community that supports teachers and staff throughout the district.

“I believe in a safe school environment for all, with smart planning for the future as Stillwater schools grow in numbers. I stand for educational growth for teachers to excel and advance with excellent pay and benefits.”

Jon Mueller

Term Expires: 6/30/2024

Jon Mueller has lived in Stillwater for 41 years. He is a graduate of Stillwater High School and Eckerd College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and the College of Saint Rose, where he received a master’s degree in secondary education.

Jon currently serves as the head baseball coach at University at Albany, where he has been for 23 years. In the community, Jon has been a volunteer Battle Football coach for eight years. He has also been involved with youth soccer, Halfmoon Youth Baseball, and Stillwater girls varsity basketball. Jon and his wife Patricia have two children, Marley and Jaxon.

About serving on the Board of Education, Jon said, “My goal is to enrich the experience of our students through a fiscally responsible plan for our district.”

Melissa Zdonick

Term Expires: 6/30/2027

A lifelong Stillwater resident, Melissa Zdonick graduated from the district in 1986 and is a member of Stillwater’s Athletic Hall of Fame. She’s been employed by Intact Insurance for 23 years and currently works as a senior claims manager.

Melissa is an involved member of the Stillwater community, having volunteered for several different organizations. She was a board member and coach for Mechanicville-Stillwater Youth Soccer League (MSYSL) and a volunteer coach for Stillwater Community Center Youth Basketball, Mechanicville-Stillwater Little League and Titans Travel Baseball. She has also volunteered for the Stillwater Soccer Booster Club.

Melissa is married to her husband Henry Zdonick, and together they have two children, both of whom are Stillwater graduates.

She sees serving on the school board “as an opportunity to contribute directly to the education of the youth in our community.