New York State School Boards Association

New York State School Boards Association members elect new statewide president and officers at 100th annual convention

FOR RELEASE: October 29, 2019


CONTACT: Al Marlin
(518) 783-3723 office (518) 527-6933 cell




Fred J. Langstaff of Sayville has been elected president of the Board of Directors of the New York State School Boards Association for 2020. He will be the 72nd president to take office since NYSSBA’s first recorded gathering of school board members took place in Utica in 1920.

A Long Island native, Langstaff has served as a NYSSBA director since 2007, representing the school districts of Suffolk County. He has been a board member for Eastern Suffolk BOCES since 1998, and he previously served on the Sayville School Board for nine years.

Langstaff succeeds William L. Miller of West Winfield, Herkimer County, a member of the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES board, who will become immediate past president and return to his previous role representing NYSSBA’s Area 5. That region encompasses Oswego, Jefferson, Lewis, Oneida, Herkimer and Madison counties. Miller served as NYSSBA president for two years.

Joining Langstaff on NYSSBA’s incoming 2020 slate of officers on Jan. 1 will be First Vice President Peggy Zugibe of Garnerville in Rockland County and Second Vice President Sandra H. Ruffo of Conklin, Broome County. Thomas J. Nespeca of Webster in Monroe County, a former NYSSBA president, was re-elected to his seventh term as treasurer.

Langstaff brings a wealth of school governance and policy experience at the local, regional and state level to his new leadership post. As a NYSSBA director, he chaired the association’s Operations Committee and the Investment Advisory Committee.

His local board leadership work has included serving as BOCES board clerk since 2003 and as board president and vice president for the Sayville Union Free School District. He co-chairs the legislative committee of Eastern Suffolk BOCES and is a member of the legislative committee of the Nassau-Suffolk School Boards Association.

Langstaff retired after 32 years working for the Verizon telecommunications company on Long Island, where he was an outside plant technician.  He has an associate degree in applied science telecommunication technology from Suffolk County Community College and is a founding member of the 1108 Communication Credit Union. A Marine Corps veteran, he lived in the state of Washington for just over three years when he worked for Boeing Aircraft.

Zugibe, a member of the North Rockland (Haverstraw-Stony Point) School Board since 1993, represents a NYSSBA region that encompasses Rockland, Putnam and Westchester counties.  She has served as president and vice president of her local board, president of the Rockland County School Boards Association and chair of the steering committee for the Hudson-Long Island Coalition for Responsible State Funding of Education.

Her honors for board service include the Mid-Hudson School Study Council Award for Excellence in School Board Service.

She has a bachelor’s degree from Mercy College in teaching the speech- and hearing-impaired and a master’s degree in special education from the College of New Rochelle.

Ruffo is in her 15th year as president of the Broome-Delaware-Tioga BOCES board, where she chairs committees on goal planning, policy review and superintendent evaluation. She has been a BOCES board member since 1995. She also served on the Susquehanna Valley School Board for 18 years, including 15 years as president, and is a recipient of several regional awards for school board service.

Before retiring, Ruffo worked as a registered nurse in various capacities for the Hospice at Lourdes in Binghamton, including interim executive director, clinical coordinator, coordinator of marketing and education and a homecare nurse. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Binghamton University and a nursing degree from SUNY Broome Community College.

School board members from around the state elected the Board of Directors at the annual business meeting held on Oct. 26 at the association’s 100th Annual Convention and Education Expo in Rochester.

Photos of Langstaff, Zugibe, Ruffo, Miller and Nespeca are available at: 


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