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David Cecile

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David Cecile
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Syracuse Board of Education, At-large
Term ends
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 5, 2013
First electedNovember 5, 2013
Next generalNovember, 2017
Term limitsN/A
David Cecile is an at-large member of the Syracuse Board of Education in New York. He first won election against four other candidates in the November 5, 2013 general election.


Cecile worked as a teacher and principal at Shea Middle School and Henninger High School for 27 years before retirement. He currently works as a substitute teacher.[1] Cecile has a grandchild who attends district schools.[2]



See also: Syracuse City School District elections (2013)


Cecile won election to the board against incumbent Patricia Body and fellow challengers Derrick L. Dorsey, Edward J. McLaughlin and Barbara E. Humphrey. The Syracuse Democratic Committee designated Cecile as one of three Democratic candidates during a May 4, 2013 vote.[3]


Syracuse City School District, At-large General Election, 4-year term, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Cecile 30% 12,336
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPatricia Body Incumbent 23.9% 9,834
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDerrick L. Dorsey 23.4% 9,611
     Republican Edward J. McLaughlin 15% 6,177
     Green Barbara E. Humphrey 7.6% 3,115
     Nonpartisan Write-in votes 0.2% 82
Total Votes 41,155
Source: Information submitted to Ballotpedia through e-mail from the Onondaga County Board of Elections on December 18, 2013.


Cecile reported $4,148.90 in contributions and $2,708.09 in expenditures to the New York State Board of Elections, which left his campaign with $1,440.81 on hand.[4][5]


Cecile received the endorsement of the Post-Standard in the 2013 election.[6]

Campaign themes


Student discipline

During an October 7, 2013 candidate forum, Cecile advocated for alternative education programs to deal with disciplinary issues in district schools:[7]

"I've been (a teacher and principal) in the schools for 28 years. . . . A lot of the suspensions are not for minor infractions. That's a misunderstanding on a lot of people's parts. A lot of the suspensions are for violent, physical behavior."

District curriculum

In an interview with the Syracuse New Times, Cecile explained his views on the district's curriculum:[2]

"We need to see more families getting involved in their children’s education, in their local schools. Until we get parents involved on a regular basis, we’re not going to see a lot of change. Right now we have some very serious behavioral issues in our middle schools and high schools. We need to continue to have police officers in those schools to make sure we have safe and secure learning environments for our kids.

And we don’t have enough different programs for kids. Everybody’s expected to get a Regents diploma. We don’t have enough technical and vocational programming. We don’t have parenting courses for our pregnant and parenting teens, whether they’re boys or girls. We don’t have enough preschool programs for our young children prior to entering kindergarten. We have a lot of our kids in the city who are so far behind when they enter school that they never get caught up.

While I was principal at Henninger, we saw a lot of our former students’ children in school there, and those parents were coming in and struggling with their own children as they had struggled when they were in school. But they had a connection to Henninger, to a number of us who had worked there. Those young parents felt comfortable sending their kids to Henninger and trying to get involved in what we were trying to do with their kids. What we need to see more of is not as much change of teachers and administrators, bouncing people all over the district, but keeping people in their schools, in their communities so they can get to know those parents and those kids."

What was at stake?

Patricia Body was the only incumbent who sought re-election to the board in 2013. Former members Calvin Corriders and Richard Strong did not file for re-election. Body was joined by challengers David Cecile and Derrick L. Dorsey as Democratic candidates, all of whom won. Edward J. McLaughlin ran as a Republican in the November 5, 2013 election while Barbara E. Humphrey received the Green Party nomination. Both lost their election bids.[8]

Academic performance struggles

A major issue facing district schools in 2013 was consistent struggles with academic performance as measured by the New York State Testing Program. Syracuse City School District was measuring at least 20 percentage points below state proficiency averages across grades 3 through 8 and high school for English Language Arts and Mathematics.[9] In August 2012, the Board of Education adopted a five-year plan proposed by Superintendent Sharon Contreras to address this issue by 2017.[10]

About the district

See also: Syracuse City School District, New York
Syracuse City School District is located in Onondaga County, New York
Syracuse School District is based in Onondaga County, which is located in north-central New York. The population of Syracuse was 145,170 according to the 2010 U.S. Census.[11]


Syracuse lagged behind state averages for higher education achievement, median income and poverty rate in the 2010 U.S. Census. The percentage of city residents over 25 years old with undergraduate degrees (25.9%) exceeded the state average (32.5%). The U.S. Census calculated Syracuse's median income at $31,689 while the state median income was $56,951. Syracuse had a poverty rate of 32.3% in the 2010 U.S. Census while the state rate was 14.5%.[11]

Racial Demographics, 2012[11]
Race Syracuse (%) New York (%)
White 56.0 65.7
Black or African American 29.5 15.9
American Indian and Alaska Native 1.1 0.6
Asian 5.5 7.3
Two or More Races 5.1 3.0
Hispanic or Latino 8.3 17.6

Party Registration, 2012[12]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total Voters
Democratic Party 114,807 37.2
Republican Party 92,634 30.0
Unaffiliated 77,995 25.3
Independent Party 15,494 5.0
Conservative Party 5,019 1.6

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[13] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

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