Board of Education Members
Image of Board of Education members
Back row- left to right- Melinda Bowe, Gail Whipple, John Elberson, & Robert Group
Front row- left to right- Alicia Lippert, Jennifer Parker & Hank Leo

Melinda Bowe
Term July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2022

Melinda Bowe of Oneida, New York, is serving her second five year term on the Board of Education. A 27-year district resident, she serves and has served as Chair of the Policy Committee, and of the Facilities & Finance and Governance committees. She is presently the Board’s Vice President.    She is a graduate of State University College at Brockport with a BS in Political Science. She also earned a Juris Doctor degree from Syracuse University College of Law.  She is a Partner with the Syracuse, New York law firm of Costello, Cooney & Fearon, and is the Chair of the firm’s Labor and Employment and Education practice group and a member of the Municipal practice group. She also is a member of the Board of Directors of the ARC of Madison Cortland.  

Melinda and her husband, Michael Bowe, have one son and one daughter who are both graduates of OCSD.   

John Elberson Term July 1, 2015 - June 30, 2020 E-Mail -
John Elberson, of Oneida, is serving his 2nd term on the Board of Education. A 35 year district resident, John has served as President (2012-2015 & 2017 - present), Vice President (2011), Chairperson of the Budget, Facilities & Compensation Committees and member of the Policy, Public Relations and Audit committees of the Board of Education.   John is a graduate of Oneida High School and attended Seneca Street elementary school while at Oneida.  He is a graduate of LeMoyne College with a B.B.A in Business Administration. John is an Executive Vice President at Oneida, NY based All Seasonings Ingredients, Inc. where he has responsibility for the Company’s Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Human Resources teams.  In addition to his service to the Oneida City School District, John volunteers with the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley and Oneida Little League.  He is also a past volunteer with numerous local organizations throughout the Central New York community. 

John and his wife, Alicia, have a daughter and son who are both enrolled in the Oneida City School District.  

Robert Group
Term July 1, 2017 - June 30, 2022
E-Mail - Robert Group of Oneida is serving his second term on the Board of Education.  A 30  year district resident, he has served on the policy, budget, compensation, facilities, and public relations committees.  Bob chaired the budget committee and served as President of the Board for the last two years. He is a graduate of Onondaga Central High School, then attended and graduated from Springfield College with a degree in Physical Education.  Bob was involved in education for 34 years in the Schoharie, Onondaga, and Canastota school districts as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and administrator.

Bob and his wife, Martha had two daughters and a son graduate from Oneida and have a granddaughter who is currently enrolled.

Hank Leo Term July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2018 E-Mail -

Hank Leo Jr.  of Verona, NY, is serving his first  term on the Board of Education. He has been a district resident for 30 years, and served as Public Relations committee and Facilities Committee chairs on the BOE.  He is a 1982 graduate of Oneida High School and attended Seneca Street Elementary school at Oneida.  He is a graduate of S.U.N.Y. Cortland with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Management Science. He has also earned Masters Certificate in Management Science from Tulane University and is completing a second Masters Certificate in Biblical Studies from Liberty University. He is the CEO of the YMCA of the Greater Tri-Valley, where he has worked for the past 23 years.  Leo is on the Board of Directors of the Oneida Rotary Club, for his second term after serving as President in 2011. Leo also is the former President of the Board of the Greater Oneida Chamber of Commerce, and chairs the Non-Profit Consortium for Madison County.  He chairs the board of a New Orleans-based music education program, Make Music NOLA.  He is an award-winning author of five nationally-published books.

Hank is married to his wife Pauline and they have two children, Nic and Allison, graduates of VVS and Stockbridge respectively.

Alicia Lippert
Term July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2019
E-Mail -

Alicia Lippert of Oneida is serving her second term on the Board of Education. A 42-year district resident, she served as Compensation Committee chair and member of  the Budget and Policy committees. She has also represented the OCSD at the Oneida Madison Herkimer unit of NYSSBA for five years. She is a graduate of Hempstead High School (Long Island), SUNY Albany, Brockport and Syracuse University with Business, Accounting, and French majors. She has worked in education 34 years.  This includes three years with the NYS Narcotic Addiction Control Commission while teaching at the Albion Correctional Facility.  Ms. Lippert has served as a Model Schools Peer Instructor integrating technology into the classroom.  She also served on the Cornell University Cooperative Extension Board/Morrisville and the Oneida Police Department Interview Board.  She presently maintains the website for her church and is involved in other church efforts in the Oneida community.    

Alicia and her husband, Douglas, have two children:  Colonel (Ret.) Andrew J. Lippert, PhD and Ms. Kristen Lippert-Martin, MFA Columbia University, who are proud graduates of OCSD.  Alicia and her husband are also the proud grandparents of eight.

Jennifer Parker Term July 1, 2016 - June 30, 2021 E-Mail -
Jennifer Parker of Oneida, is serving her first term on the Board of Education. An 11-year district resident, she served on policy, facilities and the Curriculum, Instruction & Technology Committee with the BOE..   She is a graduate of Ridgway (PA) High School.  She is a graduate of Indiana University of PA with a BS in Applied Mathematics.  She also earned her MSLIS from the Unversity of Pittsburgh.  In addition to working full time , she volunteers with the Oneida HS All Sports Booster Club, the Oneida Public Library and with her church.

Jennifer Parker has one niece currently enrolled in the district.

Gail Whipple
Term July 1, 2013 - June 30, 2018
E-Mail - 

Gail Whipple of Canastota, is serving her first term on the Board of Education. A 15-year district resident, she served on the Policy, Compensation, Budget and Audit Committees. She is a graduate of Vernon – Verona – Sherrill High School and Utica College of Syracuse University where she earned a Bachelor’s  degree in Accounting. Gail is an Audit Manager for Community Bank System, Inc.

Gail and her husband, Gary, have two sons enrolled in the district.

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