Meet the Board
Members of the E-KCS Board of Education for the 2023-24 school year
Pictured from left to right: Jennifer Benson-Baxter, Dr. John (Jack) Zeh, Penny Allen, Roger Tresidder Jr., Malissa Hale, Heidi Stalker, Jamie Gibson and Craig Kirkpatrick (absent Dustin Lottie)
Penny Allen, President
Penny Allen has been serving on the Edwards-Knox Central School Board of Education since 2016. Allen is a pharmacist for Health Direct Long Term Care in Gouverneur.
“I became a board member because I had children that attended EK and I wanted to become more involved with the school,” said Allen. “You should consider becoming a board member if you want to make sure that the board decisions continue to be made in the best interest of the students and with fiscal responsibility.”
Criag Kirkpatrick, Vice President
Craig Kirkpatrick has been serving on the Edwards-Knox Central School Board of Education since 2021. Kirkpatrick currently works as the manager of Gouverneur Collision and Car Wash.
“My main drive for deciding to obtain a seat on the board of education stems from my two boys who attend school at EK,” said Kirkpatrick. “Being a board member was a way I felt I could be involved firsthand in the accountability of ensuring the youth in our community was given proper opportunities to succeed in life.”
“The board of education is composed of people of all types of backgrounds and skill sets, this diversity is the best part of the collaborative group of individuals,” said Kirkpatrick. “Whether you realize it or not, the board needs someone just like you! Everyone has something important to bring to the table, and a little bit of Cougar Pride can go a long way in helping our small community with the vision and mission that the EK Board of Education strives to ensure.”
Jennifer Benson-Baxter was elected to the Edwards-Knox Central School Board of Education in 2023. Benson-Baxter currently works for North Coast Therapy, completing home-based visits for early intervention and preschool childcare. She is a Russell native and E-KCS graduate.
Ms. Benson-Baxter enjoys being involved in the community and her children are involved in numerous school activities at E-KCS.
Jamie Gibson was elected to the Edwards-Knox Central School Board of Education in 2023. Gibson is an infectious disease nurse practitioner with St. Lawrence Health System.
Ms. Gibson considers herself a big supporter of her children and the various activities they are involved in at E-KCS, including the athletics and music programs.
Malissa Hale has been serving on the Edwards-Knox Central School Board of Education since 2022. Hale had also previously served as a board member years ago. She currently works for the Children’s Home of Jefferson County as the program manager for the Foster Care Program.
“I have lived in the Edwards-Knox School District all my life, graduating in 1989,” said Hale. “Growing up, I can always remember my father being a member of the school board. I want to give back to our community the same way that he did. I can’t imagine my children attending any other school. I not only value my children’s education, but also every student’s education in our district. It’s important to give our students every opportunity afforded to them to be successful! I am proud to be a member of the Edwards-Knox School Board.”
“The students, faculty and staff at Edwards-Knox are truly amazing,” Hale said. “It takes a village and our students deserve the best possible education opportunities. If you are interested in serving the children of our future, then please consider running for the Edwards-Knox Board of Education.”
Dustin Lottie has been serving on the Edwards-Knox Central School Board of Education since 2021. Lottie is currently a New York State Park Police Sergeant.
“[I joined the board] to be able to share my personal and professional life experiences to benefit the community and school,” said Lottie. “[You should consider joining] to have your voice heard on the academic and administrative functions.”
Heidi Stalker was elected to the Edwards-Knox Central School Board of Education in 2023. Stalker is currently an ARC Jefferson-St. Lawrence residence manager for two homes in Hermon for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Ms. Stalker often works at events for the local Board of Elections, and volunteers with the Autism Awareness Walk and other ARC Jefferson-St. Lawrence events. She also can be seen at E-K sporting events taking photos along the sidelines as she considers herself the “unofficial photographer mom.”
Roger “RJ” Tresidder
RJ Tresidder has been serving on the Edwards-Knox Central School Board of Education since 2022. Tresidder currently owns and operates Tresidder’s Garage in Edwards.
“I wanted to be active in our school district and help to maintain and improve the state of our district,” said Tresidder. “[Consider joining the board] if you have pride in your community.”
Dr. John "Jack" Zeh
John Zeh was elected to the Edwards-Knox Central School Board of Education in 2023. Zeh is currently a veterinarian at Town & Country Veterinary Clinic.
Mr. Zeh also serves on the St. Lawrence-Lewis BOCES Board of Education and is a member of the SUNY Canton Veterinary Science Technology Advisory Board.