New Your State School Boards Association

Willa Powell - Conference of Big Five

Willa Powell - Conference of Big FiveWilla Powell represents the state’s Big 5 city school districts on the New York State School Boards Association Board of Directors.

She was appointed by the Conference of Big 5 School Districts, which includes Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, New York City and Yonkers, for a one-year term.

NYSSBA provides advocacy, training and information to school boards in support of their mission to govern the state’s public schools. The NYSSBA board establishes policies to supervise, control and direct the business of the Association.

Powell was first elected to a four-year term on the Rochester City School District Board of Education in 1997. After an 18-month hiatus, she was appointed to a vacancy on the board, and elected to that seat in 2003 where she has served ever since. She has chaired the board’s Finance Committee for several years.

Powell has twice served as president of the Conference of Big 5 School Districts.

Powell has worked as a computer programmer for Chase Manhattan Bank and as an independent computer consultant. She was a personnel officer with the U.S. Army Reserves and retired as a captain in 2004 after more than 21 years in military service.

She was president of Citizens for Midwifery, a national consumer advocacy organization that promotes midwife care for childbearing women.

Powell, who was born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, graduated from Hammondsport High School in Steuben County and received her bachelor’s degree in CPA accounting from the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Powell and her husband, Donald, have three daughters and a son.

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