Board of Education Candidates for Two Seats
Voters will elect two members to the Board of Education. There are five candidates and their names will appear on the ballot in the following order: Robert Bonfiglio, Christopher Ross, Christina Lee, Esther Winter, and Avram Berman.
Meet the Candidates Night Video
Robert Bonfiglio (Resident 3 Years)
Education: B.A. in Mathematics and Comparative American Studies, Oberlin College; M.S. in Education Policy, University of Rochester
Profession/Employment: Academic Interventionist, Nativity Preparatory Academy; Mathematics Teacher
School/Community Activities: Originally from Geneseo, I have tutored and partnered with some Brighton families during the pandemic for remote learning assistance. I have been a math teacher for five years (in Boston, Brooklyn, and Rochester). I am on the editing team for several LGBTQ organizations, including Rochester’s ImageOut Literary Magazine. Both professionally and in my graduate studies, I have engaged in and led committee work around areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Statement: As a middle and high school teacher, my incentive for running for Brighton’s school board is to highlight teacher representation. I hope to apply my background in education policy and mathematics to help assess and meet the community’s needs. I have been an advocate for all my families and students, but especially have been successful at supporting LGBTQ youth where I have had the privilege to teach. I look forward to the opportunity of bringing an outsider’s perspective to the school board as I continue to make Brighton my home and develop relationships with my peers.
Christopher Ross (Resident 6 Years)
Education: B.A. in History, University of California, Berkeley; M.A. in History, Duke University; B.S. in Nursing, University of Rochester
Profession/Employment: RN, Utilization Management, Excellus
Family: Wife, Bridget; daughter, Quinn (CRPS second grader)
School/Community Activities: Panelist, FRES Black History Month, February 2021; Member, Brighton Democratic Committee, May 2020-present; Member, Town of Brighton’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Advisory (IDEA) Board, November 2018-present; Member, Brighton Families of Color, April 2018-present.
Statement: It’s time, Brighton. Our schools should provide all our children with an inclusive, rigorous education that prepares them to navigate an increasingly complex and diverse world with empathy, curiosity, and resilience. For our schools to be successful for all students, district officials must expand their traditional communication networks to engage and include historically absent voices in deliberations about present and future policies and programs. I will ensure that these opinions have been heard before critical decisions are made. Of equal importance is securing the constitutionally mandated funding that New York owes the district. Sustaining Brighton’s exceptional academic and extracurricular programs and developing new ones requires ongoing financial investment and support. We need Albany to do its part so that we can do ours. As a Board member, I will be a tireless advocate for obtaining the resources necessary to maintain Brighton’s academic excellence. Let’s do this, Brighton!
Christina Heyon Lee (Resident 20 Years)
Education: Graduate of Brighton High School (1989); B.A., SUNY Buffalo; M.A. in Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder
Profession/Employment: Global Education Coordinator, Monroe Community College
Family: Children, Miya (BHS 2020 graduate), Rose (BHS sophomore), and Oscar (TCMS eighth grader)
School/Community Activities: Board Member, BCSD Board of Education, 2018-present; Area 2 Representative, New York State School Board Association’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, 2021; Co-Founder and Member, Brighton’s Parents/Families of Color Group, 2018-present; Board Member, Asian Pacific Islander American Association of Greater Rochester, 2018-present; Steering Committee Member, Levine Center to End Hate, 2019-present; Co-Chair, Seneca Falls Dialogues Conference, 2018-2020.
Statement: I’ve had the privilege of serving one term on BCSD’s Board of Education and am running for a second term this spring. I am running for BCSD Board of Education again because I want to continue the work that we as a district are doing to provide a challenging, equitable, inclusive and nurturing education for all our children. I will advocate for continuing and sustained state funding for our schools so that we can provide a diversity of programming at all grade levels. My parents moved to the Brighton school district 40 years ago because of the strong academic program, dedicated teachers, and welcomed parent involvement. These are the same reasons that I brought my own family back to this district and why I would like to continue to serve the district in this capacity. As a community, we are raising confident, inquisitive, life-long learners and I am here to support you and your families.
Esther Winter (Resident 18 Years)
Education: B.F.A. in Musical Theatre, Syracuse University
Profession/Employment: Owner/Center Director, Canalside Music Together in Pittsford since 2006
Family: Husband, John; children, John, Madeleine (BHS grads), Harrison (BHS senior), and Julia (TCMS eighth grader)
School/Community Activities: Council Rock Principal Selection Committee, 2012; Volunteer, BCSD Visual and Performing Arts for Lion King, 2017; Volunteer, Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, 2003-2018; Panelist, BHS College and Career Night, 2016 and 2017; Teacher Trainer, Music Together Worldwide, 2018-present; Director/Choreographer, JCC CenterStage, 2015-2019; Artist Educator, Geva Theatre Center, 2018; Creative Producer, Recognition Radio Series, Geva Theatre Center, 2020; Artistic Council, Geva Theatre Center, 2021.
Statement: I grew up in Los Angeles, California, and attended Syracuse University where I completed a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre. After graduating and moving to Manhattan, I enjoyed a career as a performer for over 11 years. In 2003, my husband and I relocated to Brighton to be closer to family and take advantage of the highly regarded school system here. Being a Black woman, and having children of mixed race, I feel it is important that our school board reflect the cultural makeup of our district. As a student who benefited significantly from my exposure to the arts, I will ensure that Brighton's arts programs continue to get the support they deserve. I look forward to working with the rest of the board and providing my unique point of view to enrich the lives of the children of this community. Thank you, and I appreciate your vote.
Avram Berman (Resident 3 Years)
Education: B.S. in Business Administration, SUNY Brockport
Profession/Employment: Since 1993, Owner of AJ Berman Associates, Inc., provider of high level, non-scripted, marketing and sales
Family: Partner, Eileen Shannon and daughters, 2 and 3 years old
School/Community Activities: In preparation for my children attending BCSD, I’ve been laying groundwork as an advocate for transparency, inclusion, first amendment and fiscal responsibility – to learn more about my candidacy, please visit brightonspeaks.com (work in progress) or call me directly at (716) 638-0032.
Statement: The Brighton Central School District serves at the pleasure of the community, which means meeting the educational needs of our children while balancing the fiscal capacity of our residents and School district. If elected, I will shape policies that reflect the will of our community, which includes our students, their parents, teachers, staff and residents without children in attendance – who make up over 60% of our voting district. I will reintroduce and reinforce the principles of rejecting racism, exclusion, censorship, propaganda, voter suppression, unchecked accountability and the politicization of social injustice. I will rebuild our foundation to promote transparency, the dissemination of information that is timely and unambiguous, the public engagement of our school officials and protection of the rights of our students, their parents and the teachers whom we entrust. I look forward to working with everyone to improve and evolve our community and school district, to form a more perfect union, whereby the narrative is public, not private, perception is based on facts, not propaganda, and most importantly, where everyone has a voice, is heard and is acknowledged.