EYE ON EDUCATION: Daniel Cash appointed Lake Placid school board member

The Cash family poses outside their Lake Placid home on March 20. From left are Ellie, Ethan, Daniel (dad), Evie and Amanda (mom). (News photo — Andy Flynn)

LAKE PLACID — The Lake Placid Central School District Board of Education has a new board member.

Daniel Cash, a senior designer at the Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism and father of three students, was appointed Tuesday, Sept. 1 to fill a vacancy on the board left by the resignation of Jeffrey Brownell.

Cash will serve on the board until the next school election in May 2021, when he’ll have to run for election to fill the remainder of Brownell’s term. As of Wednesday, Sept. 9, he hadn’t attended his first meeting as a school board member yet. The next one is Tuesday, Sept. 15, and he’s looking forward to getting started.

“I’ve wanted to run for school board for a couple of years now, mainly to get more involved with the community,” Cash said. “I look forward to learning from the board, and the administrators, and finding wherever I can help.”

Finding a mentor

Cash moved to the Adirondacks more than eight years ago, after graduating from Asbury College in Kentucky, where he met his wife of 16 years, Amanda.

Before going away to college, Cash grew up in Georgia. He attended Tucker High School — home of the Tigers. It was the same high school that his parents, and his grandmother, had attended. He loved his art class with a teacher named Mr. Aiken.

“I was one of those art room kids,” he said. “Not surprising, I became a designer. That was a formative time in my life. (Mr. Aiken) would have a huge impact on my life. The value and impact teachers can have on students is really immeasurable.”

Cash still keeps in touch with Aiken.

“I think that’s a huge part of school, finding those mentors and finding those people that will have a positive impact on your life,” he said.

As a member of the Lake Placid school board, Cash said he wants to ensure that the district remains a place where faculty and staff want to work.

“That gives you the best results for the students, when the teachers and staff feel supported,” he said.

Parent’s perspective

Cash’s son, Ethan, just entered the Lake Placid High School as a freshman, his oldest daughter, Ellie, just entered middle school as a sixth-grader, and his youngest daughter, Evie, is in kindergarten at Lake Placid Elementary School.

“I think it helps to have a lot of parents’ perspectives represented on the school board,” he said. “Parents are the ones most intimately dealing with the school district.”

Cash expects the next few years to be unusual because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Beyond the public health and safety impact of the virus, New York is facing a $14 billion budget gap. The state has begun to quietly institute budget cuts that are expected to trickle down to local governments and school districts. The school board, and the district’s business office, will likely face a challenge as they explore ways to absorb the cuts to state aid while maintaining services for students and staying below the state’s tax cap.

If he’s elected next year, Cash said he’s sure with the unusual nature of the job in these times he’ll have to re-learn the job again when things are more normal.

He believes in the service to the community that the school provides.

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve my community,” Cash said. “Public education is one of those things that everybody utilizes whether they know it or not. An educated public is important for a healthy economy and our democracy.”