Retired teacher David P. Keefe of Hempstead has been re-elected to a new three-year term on the System’s 10-member Board of Trustees. Keefe, who was first elected in 2004, currently serves as Board president.
Keefe defeated Sally L. Courtright of Loudonville for the position as the retired teacher representative to the Board. Keefe received 60.4% of the vote while Courtright, who retired from the North Colonie Central School District, received 39.2%. (The percentage total does not sum to 100% due to rounding.)
Keefe’s alternate is Donna A. Martin of Albany. Courtright’s alternate was Mary T. Finneran of Cairo. The trustee candidate and alternate run as a single ticket.
The election was held by mail vote. Ballots were distributed and tabulated by an independent third-party firm, American Arbitration Association. A total of 36,334 ballots were cast in the election with Keefe receiving 21,931 votes and Courtright receiving 14,247.
All NYSTRS members who were retired as of Oct. 1, 2022 were eligible to vote. A total of 174,444 retired members were eligible to vote. Ballots were mailed beginning Oct. 1 and had to be returned or postmarked by Oct. 31.
The election results were certified by the American Arbitration Association and a Board of Elections including representatives appointed by each candidate at a meeting in New York City on Monday, Nov. 14. The new trustee term begins Jan. 1, 2023 and runs through Dec. 31, 2025.
Keefe expressed his gratitude to NYSTRS retirees for giving him the opportunity to continue to serve them on the Retirement System Board. “I thank all of you for the support that you have given me over the past 18 years and have enjoyed meeting many of you in my travels addressing you at workshops and meetings,” he said.
Keefe retired in 2004 after spending nearly four decades teaching in the Hempstead public schools. For most of his career, he was president of the Hempstead Classroom Teachers’ Association and served on numerous other education and community-related committees. He earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Long Island University.
Martin, Keefe’s alternate, retired in 2002 from the South Colonie Central School District after a 30-year teaching career. In the event the retired teacher trustee can no longer serve, the alternate agrees to take the trustee’s seat on the Board. Martin attends Board meetings as an observer.
In addition to the retired teacher member, there are three active teacher members on the Board who are elected to staggered three-year terms by their peers at the Annual Delegates Meeting. The current active teacher members are Juliet C. Benaquisto of the Schenectady City School District, Elizabeth A. Chetney of the Baldwinsville Central School District, and Eric J. Iberger of the Bayport-Blue Point Union Free School District.
NYSTRS is one of the most secure and well-funded public pension plans in the country. Using an actuarial value of assets, the System is 99% funded.
NYSTRS Board members serve without compensation and represent various constituents, including teachers, school administrators and school boards. They are responsible as fiduciaries to protect the long-term value of the System’s investment portfolio for its more than 442,000 active and retired members and beneficiaries.