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Amherst School Board candidates

Three candidates are seeking two seats on the Amherst School Board. They are: Ann Marie CarosellaErnest Hausmann; and Ilana Lane.

 All were invited to tell distrct residents why they are worthy of their vote.



I am seeking a second term on the Amherst Central School Board so that I can continue to contribute to the ongoing goals of assuring a quality education for all students at a difficult time when expenses are increasing and resources are decreasing. During my first term, I am proud to have served on a team that found creative ways to reduce expenses such as maximizing state aid for technology, increasing transportation efficiencies, and collaborating with non-public schools to reduce transportation costs.

Academically, our district remains strong, bolstered by recent board supported initiatives such as an in-house high school summer school, culturally responsive staff training, and intensive professional development in math education. My research background provides analytic skills and appreciation for evidence-based best practices useful to the strategic planning and decision-making of the board. 

I serve on the district Technology, Safety, and Policy sub-committees, and volunteer weekly with district students. Currently, I utilize my past teaching experiences to help Middle School students with homework after school. Previously, I volunteered for nine years at Smallwood’s reading center. 

I graduated from Colgate University, received an M.A. from William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Princeton University.  After completing our post-doctoral training at the University at Rochester, my husband Jeff Lackner and I moved back to WNY 17 years ago.   Presently, I am employed as a Co-Investigator of an NIH grant at the University at Buffalo.  Both our daughter Rachel (grade 10) and son Benjamin (grade 7) attend Amherst Central schools.


Why do I feel qualified to be on the Amherst School Board?

-- I had 34 years of experience in teaching as a Professor of Oral Biology at SUNY at Buffalo.

-- I have watched my four children and three grandchildren go through the Amherst School System.

How come  I decided at this time to run for the School Board?

Recently I have had many discussion about education with a grandson who is completing a master's  program at UB in Literacy Education. He said, "Grandpa you have such good ideas about education. Why don’t you run for the school board.” So here I am.

My philosophy of education is that it be thorough and comprehensive to include besides the traditional academic subjects, music, art and sports. A reasonable budget should be available to fulfill this mission. If cuts are required, modest decreases should first be examined in the non-academic part of the program such as busing and administration. If not enough money seems to be available for teaching a modest  tax increase should be recommended for consideration. 

Am I able at this stage of my life, age 81, take on such a demanding responsibility?

Yes! Presently I am Chief Scientific Adviser for a local startup software company.

Conclusion: Based on the above information I hope you will consider to vote for me. Thank you.


Dr. Illana R. Lane earned a Ph.D. and a master’s degree from SUNY at Buffalo.  She completed her undergraduate studies at Pennsylvania State University.  Dr. Lane is the Dean of the School of Education at Medaille College. 

Dr. Lane is originally from East Hampton and has resided in the Amherst Central School District with her husband, Darrell, and two children, Darrell and John, since 2002.  Both boys attend Amherst Middle School and are in grades 7 and 6, respectively. She has been involved with the Windermere Leadership Team, the PTA, and the Pre-K Advisory Committee. 

Dr. Lane is on the executive board of the New York Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE), and is an active member of the Buffalo Chapter of Jack and Jill of America Inc., and Delta Kappa Gamma.  She has received recognition from Madison Who’s Who of Executives and Professionals and Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges. In addition, Dr. Lane has received the Apple Award for teaching and the Medaille College Sojourner Truth Leadership Award.

Dr. Lane has been an educator for the past 21 years. She is seeking re-election to the Amherst Board of Education because she is a parent committed to a safe learning environment for all children, diversity, academic consistency, effective instruction, and accountability to Amherst stakeholders. Her goals are to serve the Amherst school district and stakeholders by providing a fair perspective that encompasses broad views that continue to improve the school district. With a background in education and a history of volunteer involvement in the school, Dr. Illana R. Lane is willing to serve. 

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee |

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes |

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone |

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB |