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Cheektowaga-Sloan School Board candidates

Two candidates are seeking one seat on the Cheektowaga-Sloan School Board: Denise J. McCowan and Leonard Siwinski. They were invited to tell distrct residents why they are worthy of their vote.


My passion is the students and getting them everything they deserve. I love all the work I have done for them directly and indirectly as a board member. My hope is to be re-elected and continue with this passion. I want to be able to help get back what was taken from them, PIECES OF THEIR FUTURE.

I dedicate many hours to improve myself as a board member. I participate in workshops, seminars, and conferences to better my understanding and ability to do the best job. I have volunteered to help the Erie County School Board Association at the upcoming conference in Buffalo.  I am on our interview committee and an Erie County School Board delegate.

This fall I worked with the high school students to expand Spirit week and the homecoming parade. We included all of the schools within the district. This doubled the size of the parade and increased school spirit.  I also planned the First Annual Prom/Graduation Expo and Dress Sale that benefitted Children’s Hospital.

I am serving my third year as HS PTO vice president. Over the years I volunteered at many school and PTO events. I have helped organize JFK's Bonfire and Parent’s Sports club fundraisers and for 3 years I organized the HS basketball concession stand.

Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at Tim Kennedy's Roundtable Discussion at Theodore Roosevelt School to stop cuts in state education funding and help promote Families Against Texting at a recent PTO meeting.  

My involvement at the schools has made it easy for parents, students, faculty and staff to approach me with their issues. I have brought those issues to the board and we have addressed them as a group.  

As a family we have volunteered at the Renaissance House, participated in the American Diabetes Association Walk for eleven consecutive years and the Walk for A Cure for JDRF the past several years.

I live in Cheektowaga with my husband, Bill and son Sean. I am a graduate of West Seneca East High School, Cazenovia College, Buffalo State College and Fashion Institute of Technology. I run a family business in West Seneca.


I  am humbly seeking your vote for a position on the Cheektowaga-Sloan Union Free School District Board of Education. I am seeking this position because I am an advocate for the best education for our students at the most affordable cost to our taxpayers.

I am a graduate of Seneca Vocational High School and have been a Cheektowaga Resident for 47 years. I am married to my wife Constance and the father of two J.F. Kennedy graduates.

I retired from the United States Postal Service having held the position of Accounting Technician and Supervisor of Mail Processing.

I am also an active Volunteer Firefighter for Doyle Hose Co. 1 for 41 years and have held numerous offices and have chaired many fundraising events. I am also a 3rd degree Knight with the Father Justin Council and a 4th degree with the KOLBE Council.

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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 |