The mission of the Niagara Falls Board of Education is to guarantee educational excellence by creating strategic goals which we will monitor, analyze, assess and evaluate utilizing the quality process and ensuring customer satisfaction.
2023 - 2024 Board of Education Members
Russell Petrozzi - President
Russell Petrozzi is Vice President of Capitol Cleaners. A 1975 graduate of LaSalle High School, Russ holds a BA in Accounting from Niagara University. He currently serves as a member of the Niagara Falls Board of Education and also sits on the Board of Directors of Empower (formerly Niagara Cerebral Palsy). He has been awarded The Paul Harris Award from the Rotary Club of Niagara, the Citizen of the Year Award (shared with his late father, Joe Petrozzi) from the Niagara Falls Kiwanis Club and the Good Neighbor Award. These honors were for community service and the "Coats for Kids" program. “There has to be a balance of valuable educational programs for our kids and responsible spending for the taxpayers of the City of Niagara Falls.” Term expires 2025.
(716) 297-8663 (home)
Earl F. Bass is a 2006 graduate of Niagara Falls High School. Mr. Bass is deeply rooted in the Niagara Falls community. As a Niagara Falls Fire Fighter, he is active in the Annual Toy Fund, serving as co-chair for the Annual 5K/10K Run/Walk, and co-host for the Annual Telethon. He is a Trustee at his church, St. John AME. He has presented workshops at both The Male Summit and Let’s Talk Conferences sponsored by the Niagara Falls Housing Authority.
Mr. Bass is a single guardian to his young cousin, DaSon, who currently attends Hyde Park Elementary School. Term expires 2026.
Robert Bilson is a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls NY. Mr. Bilson is a product of the Niagara Falls City School District, attending 79th Street School and Lasalle Preparatory, before graduating from LaSalle Senior High School. He is the Senior Director of Negotiation Production at Strategic Financial Solutions. He has years of business experience building cohesive, top-performing teams, growing revenues and market impact within a variety of industries. In addition to his business career, he is an accomplished television music composer for shows such as A&E’s Wahlburgers. Mr. Bilson has been a member of the Niagara County Planning Board as well as a volunteer softball coach for the Cayuga Youth Athletic Association of Niagara Falls. “I am passionate about this community and I pledge to serve our students, families, and all district staff with a high level of dedication and trust.” Bilson lives in DeVeaux with his wife, Nicole, and their five children. Term expires 2026.
(716) 940-4990 (c)
Vincent "Jimmy" Cancemi
Vincent Cancemi was first elected to the Board in 2007. Mr. Cancemi is retired from the District, having taught Special Education for 25 years. During his tenure, he was the Director of the Child Find Project. In addition, he continues to own and operate Cancemi Furniture, which he has done for 30 years. Mr. Cancemi is currently a member of the YMCA First Century Club; is a member of the Board of Directors, Niagara Falls Boys & Girls Club Alumni; the Niagara County Community College Foundation; and the Niagara Falls Education Foundation, Inc. He belongs to many professional organizations and has been the recipient of numerous awards for community service. Term expires 2027.
(716) 284-2688 (work)
Mike Capizzi is co-owner of Michael‘s Restaurant, where he has been a presence on Pine Avenue since 1999. He holds a BA in Business Administration and Management from Canisius College and has been an active volunteer in the community. Mike has served on the Boards of the NF Boys and Girls Club, the NF Education Foundation, the Pine Avenue Business Association, Destination Niagara USA, and more. He believes the work of District teachers and administrators is key to aiding in the economic recovery of our city. He is committed to providing students the resources they need, while being a responsible steward of tax payers' dollars. Term expires 2028.
Clara Dunn, a native of Niagara Falls, worked for the Niagara Falls Department of Economic Development as minority business / grant coordinator for more than 25 years. She graduated from LaSalle Senior High School and pursued an education in business administration from Niagara County Community College (NCCC). She also holds a certificate of education in management development for women from D'Youville College.
Mrs. Dunn also has served on several community organizations, including: City of Niagara Falls Development Corporation, the Niagara Falls Human Rights Commission, the Occupation Educational Advisory Council for the Niagara Falls City School District Board of Education and the Maple Avenue School Quality Council.
She is passionate about playing a significant role in the lives of our children by providing solutions that will ensure equal opportunities in education that will prepare children for the future while pursuing their dreams with a resolve to make the City the best it can be. Mrs. Dunn believes that if we invest in our community, the community will richly give back to us.
She and her husband, Willie, have two children, Rashad and Erica, and three grandchildren, Jaylen, Zariah and Morey. Term expires 2025.
Paul Kudela is a Detective with the Niagara Falls Police Department, a business owner, and a former teacher in the District. He is a life-long resident of Niagara Falls and a product of the Niagara Falls City School District. Mr. Kudela’s goals include bringing clinical mental health professionals and School Resource Officers to every school, and bringing back a local skilled trades program to the District. He is committed to fair and equitable school district policies.
“I love Niagara Falls and the people who live here.”
He lives with his wife, Danielle, son, Ryan, daughter, Nora, and dog, Maglie, in Deveaux.
(716) 308-1819 (c) Term expires 2024.
Anthony Paretto - Vice President
Anthony Paretto has worked as a union electrician for more than 20 years and is currently a City electrician. He resides in LaSalle with his wife, Sue, and his three children, Kaitlyn, Michael, and Anthony, Jr. Mr. Paretto is also a volunteer coach for the Niagara Falls High School Football team. His priority is to ensure teachers have all the tools necessary to educate children to the highest possible standard. Term expires 2028.
Nick Vilardo served in the Niagara Falls Fire Department for 34 years, retiring as a Battalion Chief. He conducted school safety inspections and was active in J-FIRE, a juvenile fire intervention education program. Mr. Vilardo is a Niagara Falls High School graduate with business coursework at Niagara County Community College, Bryant and Stratton and the New York State Fire Academy. He and his late wife, Barbara, have two children, Michael, who graduated from LaSalle and Canisius College, and Maria, a graduate of Niagara Falls High School and Fredonia, a granddaughter Miranda and a grandson, Liam. He served on the Family YMCA Board and the Board of New York State Fire Investigators. In addition to working on school safety issues, Mr. Vilardo emphasizes early reading programs and continued increased graduation rate, and is a strong supporter of mental health programs in the District. Term expires 2024.
Clerk: Judith Glaser