Excellence in Education
Board of Education

Cato-Meridian Central School District
2851 Route 370
Cato, NY 13033
Phone: 315-626-3439
Fax: 315-626-2888

Board of Education Candidates' Speeches  


Jamie Spratt

Hello, my name is Jamie Spratt and I am running for a position on the Board of Education in our upcoming election. I have had the honor of being a Cato-Meridian resident for the past 11 years and have coached the Cato-Meridian Youth Wrestling Club for 10 of those years. I also have 4 children enrolled in this great school district. I have been self employed for 20 years, therefore, I know very well the meaning of the words reputation and integrity. I am very new at all of this but do hope to earn your trust and have the opportunity to help assist in making good conscientious decisions that will help ensure a positive future for all of our taxpayers and students. Thank you.




   Paul Byrne



I  am Paul Byrne and I am here to seek re-election for my third term on the Cato-Meridian Board of Education.  First of all, thank you all for coming tonight - it is important for our district that we have informed people before the voting in this election.   A bit about me:  I have been extremely blessed with a wonderful family of my wife Lisa, a Cato-Meridian high school teacher for the past 18 years, our son  Max , a Junior,  daughter, Lily, in eighth grade, and son, Chase, in 6th grade.  I also currently have a lovely high school senior daughter, Celine, who is a Rotary Exchange Student from France.  We have hosted 5 exchange students in the past 8 years.   My college background is in business and economics and I have owned my own local business for the past 11 years and employed over 20 Cato-Meridian graduates. 

If any of you have seen my campaign signs about town they have the slogan of “He’s Involved.”  Lisa and I thought about a slogan  that would describe what  my role  is in this district  and believe that is my involvement in different arenas of the school that have allowed me to make a positive difference.  I believe that it is a school board member’s priority to attend and be involved with school events.  I am going to pick the last 60 days and give you a brief summation my school activities.

The success of the high school drama’s production of Phantom of the Opera was due to the unbelievable talents of many others but my roles were to the finish set construction and prop acquisition, manage concessions, attend and coordinate ticket sales at the 3 shows, host a cast party at our house for 90 people, and then manage set deconstruction, stage clearing, and the return of costume and set pieces. 

I attended National Honor Society Induction, attended Spring Showcase at the middle school, chaperoned a 2 day trip to NYC for high school students,  hosted the DVD viewing party of Phantom of the Opera at our home,  judged the Cato’s Got Talent show,  attended the State Competition of Odyssey of the Mind in Binghamton,  attended the  Spring band concert and  4 board meetings.   Many people do much more than I do; but I can say: I am involved.

 I’ve been on this board in important times; the hiring of our current and  talented superintendent, tough decisions due to budgetary constraints, difficult and burdensome changes in curriculum and many essential infrastructure improvements.  This current board has had a very consistent membership in the last 6 years and I’m proud  of it.   Each of us brings a uniqueness that has allowed us to at least have one board member involved in nearly every facet of our district.   We are in different professions, different stages in our careers, different town and community boards and committees, different families, and our children and grandchildren are in different sports and activities that we attend.  I believe that change can be a good thing when it is for the right reasons; but in this case, change for the sake of change will not improve the board or the opportunities for the kids that we are working for.  This board has worked hard for the people it represents and should have the opportunity to continue that important   work.  So, as you pull 2 levers in the voting booth, please pull one for Jill, and one for Paul Byrne.   



 Jill Modafferi

My name is Jill Modafferi.  I have lived in this area with my husband and four children for 20 years.  My oldest daughter, Katie is a devoted teacher in the district.  I also have two sons Brian and Nathan, and my youngest child, Abbie will graduate in a few weeks.  All of my children were very involved in school and were provided with a solid education here at Cato-Meridian.  My husband has been a devoted, dedicated music teacher in the district for 31 years.

I ran for the Cato-Meridian Board of Education eight years ago because at that time our school district was receiving  negative press.  It broke my heart to see all the negative publicity that the district was receiving due to adults not agreeing on a variety of issues.  It was clear at that time that the BOE and administration was divided; and did not work cooperatively.  I am proud to say that the district has not been in the news for negative press since then.  I ran a second term because I wanted to be part of the Superintendent selection process.  I also knew that school districts were going to go through financial hardships and I wanted to be a part of the team that would help our district maintain programming and opportunities for the students in our district. As a board member, I have served on the SIT Committee, the Audit Committee and the Policy Committee.  I have been open-minded and have listened to community member concerns throughout my years serving on the Board.

This year I am running because I want to continue to be involved in providing opportunities for the children in this district.  We continue to have financial constraints which impacts our school budget.  I believe it is vital to strive for and research opportunities that will help our students succeed in the 21st Century.  As an educator, it is imperative to have a "common sense" attitude toward the new demands of the Common Core.  I believe I am competent and have a unique perspective to share with my fellow board members. I feel each board member has a different background. This uniqueness aids in discussing, analyzing and  solving issues because we can each bring a different perspective.  I believe our diversity is what brings cohesiveness to our board.

Again, thank you for coming tonight.  And, please support our school budget on Tuesday, May 20th.  It is a budget that maintains current programs for students.  In addition, I encourage you to vote for Paul Byrne and myself for the open seats on the Board of Education. 



Timothy Bratt


Hello, my name is Timothy Bratt.  I am a lifelong resident in the Cato-Meridian School District along with most of my family.

I work as a diesel technician for DTS Truck Service and Aviation Ground Equipment.  I am running for school board to increase my involvement in the community and with the school being the center of the community I thought it would be a great place to achieve my goal off being more involved in the community.


What I would like to accomplish if I was voted on the school board is academic excellence for all students, the financial responsibility of the school, and also to have the school be a place where employees enjoy coming to work.

Thank you for your time and I hope to get the chance to be on the school board.









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