Board of Trustees Candidate Information 2020

Candidates for Howland Public Library Board of Trustees 2020.

There are 5 candidates running for 5 available seats on the board.

Jess Conway

Jess Conway has enjoyed volunteering at the library in the past. She facilitated a drop-in writing lab for high school-age youth which was utilized by over 40 students, and she hopes to support the library’s efforts to  encourage inclusive, interest-based communities across difference. Jess holds a BA in English from Princeton University and a Ph.d in English Education from Columbia University. She teaches in the English department at the Newburgh Campus of SUNY Orange, serves as the current Board President of Land to Learn (formerly Hudson Valley Seed), and co-directs the Mentmore Fund, which emphasizes grants to grassroots efforts toward a more just society through narrative change and community organizing. Jess lives in Beacon with her two kids and her partner Justin. She has checked out most books from the children’s section at one time or another, and returned most all of them in drool-free condition. She would love to serve her community as a Trustee of the Howland Public Library!

Darlene E.R Resling

Darlene E.R Resling, a lifelong area resident, was born in Beacon’s Highland Hospital.  She fondly recalls shopping in stores on Main St. – including one that later became home to the present Howland Library!

From 1972 – 2005, Mrs. Resling taught English / Language Arts to approximately 5,000 young people in Beacon’s Rombout Middle School. She focused on helping students recognize the importance of clear and concise communication skills, while directing them to the Howland Library to find source material and to tweak their interests.  While teaching students how vital it was to know where to go, and then how to find facts, it is natural that today she finds herself desiring to guide  others to the Howland Public Library as a source for all ages in an ever challenging world.

During that time Darlene also wrote multidisciplinary materials for educational publishers. This background makes her keenly aware not only of the wide array of activities Howland already offers, but increases her desire to support opportunities planned for the future.

In 2005, Darlene returned to the classroom as a student that led to ordination in the United Methodist Church. She has served as lead pastor to churches in Highland Mills and Mountainville, and now serves in LaGrangeville and Wiccopee, N.Y.  Her ongoing focus continues to be teaching and showing people ways to connect with others in positive ways.

Darlene holds Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Secondary Education, English, from SUNY, Plattsburgh.  Most recently she earned a Master’s and a Doctor of Divinity Degree from Drew University, Madison, NJ.

She lives in Fishkill with her husband, William.  Her hobbies include reading, writing, photography, and travel.

A personal note to the voters:

While I fondly recall the Beacon of another time, I am fully committed to supporting all residents as we strive to support the future of Beacon.  All people need to be ensured of having a welcoming, well equipped library where all ages can go to for safe, enjoyable experiences. I would be honored to continue being part of the positive growth as an elected trustee of the Howland Public Library.

Thomas Rigney

Thomas Rigney moved to Beacon in 1999 with his wife Kristen. Together, they live with their sixteen year old son and a number of pets. Thomas holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and Philosophy from Binghamton University, and a Master of Science degree from Lehman College in Special Education. He has completed his coursework for a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration at SUNY New Paltz. He is presently the department chair of special education at Washingtonville Central School District, where he has been employed since 2004. Prior to that, he taught in East Harlem, Rockland, and Westchester County. He holds a permanent certification as a Special Education teacher for K-12 students, and has taught virtually every grade level in his career.

Libraries have always been an integral part of Thomas’ life, as he participated in summer reading programs throughout his childhood, and gravitated towards libraries as a peaceful sanctuary in which to complete coursework in high school and throughout his postsecondary studies. For the last ten years, he volunteered alongside his wife Kristen as coach for Howland’s Battle of Books summer reading program. In that time, their teams won three regional tournaments and were highly placed in numerous others. For their efforts in this area, Thomas and Kristen were recipients of the Helen Savoit Award for Library Advocacy.

Thomas has been a trustee for the Howland Public Library since 2014. He is a past president of the board, and has chaired numerous committees in that time. He is currently the president-elect and chair of the Building Committee. Thomas believes that the library is an essential and integral part of its community, and provides vital access to information and services.  Now more than ever, patrons rely on the library to provide information and resources that are accurate, accessible, and reliable. Thomas considers it a great honor and responsibility to serve as a trustee, and will continue to advocate for the continuation of services that the library currently provides, as well as the responsible expansion of services that further enhance our vibrant community. Thomas believes that his experience as the longest sitting trustee will serve all stakeholders well as we all try to navigate the many challenges that lie ahead.

Karen Twohig

Karen Twohig is running for a second term on the HPL Board of Trustees. During her first term, she served as board vice-president, then president, and now is chair of the planning committee. She served on the committee that recently led Community Conversations at various locales, to seek community members’ input about issues that concern them. Serving on the board has been a rewarding experience, leading now to the wish to continue, and help lead the library in this challenging time.

Karen is a retired social worker, who worked primarily in hospital and child care settings over the years.  This  background allowed her to meet and understand the concerns of a broad range of people.

A resident of Fishkill and Beacon for almost 40 years, Karen grew up in the Bronx, New York, where her mother took her to the local library, and the bookmobile, which came around to the neighborhood. Her two grown children and their families live in Beacon, and her grandson attends South Ave School, making her commitment to helping this community be the best it can be even stronger.

Sean Twohig

Sean Twohig has lived in Beacon for over 12 years in total, grew up in the neighboring Town of Fishkill, and has been a member of the Mid-Hudson Library system since a young age.  He attended Dutchess Community College and then earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts (photography & painting) from Cornell University in 1999.  He has exhibited his artwork in number of local gallery exhibits, has worked in a variety of different fields including graphic design, retail merchandising, product promotions, and general handy work, and has also volunteered for a number of different organizations over the years, most recently with the Howland Cultural Center and Beacon Mutual Aid, delivering food to local families.  He has made use of the Howland Public Library and other libraries, for internet access & printing documents, and enjoys attending the artwork shows & monthly foreign film nights and borrowing from the great selection of movies, music, & books.  Sean’s mother Karen Twohig, also a library board trustee and former president, was the one who inspired him to run for the position.  Sean sees this opportunity as a way to give back to the local library, which has given him so much over the years.  He believes that libraries are an integral part of communities, helping those access the internet who might not otherwise be able to, and providing other great resources, activities, and opportunities to all.  He hopes to help the HPL continue providing these essential services, once it is safer to reopen the library, to add even more in the future, such as color & 3D printing, to build a better “library of things” including electronic devices, and to make the library more environmentally friendly too.  His varied work and life experiences, his caring about the community and the environment, and his dedication and strong work ethic, make him an ideal candidate for the Board of Trustees.