Recorder News staff


Deana Schuttig fell asleep Tuesday believing she fell short of securing enough votes to sit on the Greater Amsterdam Board of Education, but the next day she unexpectedly learned she had been elected.

Greater Amsterdam School District officials announced Wednesday the board of election preliminary results Tuesday night were not accurate because a polling site incorrectly reported the vote count.

Official election results revealed incumbent Peter Pritchard garnered less votes than Schuttig, which respectively totaled 472 to 483. Pritchard was seeking his third three-year term on the board.

Incumbents Nellie Bush and the Rev. Kent McHeard, with 581 votes and 529 respectively, were elected to their third three-year term as initially reported.

Schuttig said Superintendent of Schools Vicma “Vicky” Ramos called her around 11:30 a.m. and revealed she had actually been elected.

“I was completely taken aback for sure,” Schuttig said. “It was not at all what I expected the next day, but very excited to be able to take this on and have the support of the community behind me.”

Pritchard said the error was an unfortunate, but he was honored to have served on the school board for six years. He said he was confident in board moving forward and hopes to continue to stay involved with the district.

“The district is in a great position,” Pritchard said.

Schuttig’s bid this year was her first time running for the board of education, or any elected office. Schuttig, a real estate broker, campaigned on offering a fresh look to district operations amongst a field of incumbents.

“The feedback I had received from a lot of people was just the perspective that I brought to the table,” Schuttig said. “A lot of people were eager to see some change and have fresh set of eyes looking in on things for them.”

Schuttig has lived in the City of Amsterdam for 10 years and has three children with her husband, Christopher. Their oldest child, Avery, is a pre-kindergarten student at William H. Barkley MicroSociety Magnet School. They also have a 2-year-old and a 7-month-old.

Bush served as school board president for three of her six years on the board. She is a lifelong resident of Amsterdam. She lives with her husband, Leonard, and they have three adult children, along with five grandchildren. She retired from GASD after 43 years of service.

McHeard has served as president and vice president of the school board and has lived in the district for 18 years with his wife, Colleen. They have two children enrolled in the district — Garrett in seventh grade at Wilbur H. Lynch Literacy Academy and Parker in fifth grade at R.J. McNulty Academy for International Studies and Literacy Magnet School. McHeard is minister of word and sacrament for the First Reformed Church of Rotterdam.