Juliet C. Benaquisto, a special education teacher in the Schenectady City School District, was appointed to the Retirement Board by New York State Commissioner of Education Dr. Betty A. Rosa to fill the three-year term vacated by Sheila Sullivan Buck, who stepped down May 31. She is one of three active teacher members on the Board.
To complete the term that ends Jan. 31, 2023, Benaquisto will need to be elected by her peers at the Annual Delegates Meeting on Oct. 29.
Benaquisto has taught in the Schenectady City School District for 33 years. She has served as president of the Schenectady Federation of Teachers since 2006, and she was a longtime NYSTRS delegate prior to joining the Board.
Benaquisto has served New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) since May 2020 in several capacities, including serving on the board of directors and as director of Election District 12 (ED-12). She received her bachelor's degree in special education at SUNY Geneseo and her master's degree in education psychology from SUNY Albany.
Buck, a music teacher for more than 20 years and a NYSTRS trustee since 2017, stepped down from the Board to serve as a labor relations specialist of NYSUT. At its July meeting, the Board unanimously passed a resolution honoring Buck for "her voice in advocating for and educating NYSTRS members" as well as her service and commitment to the long-term well-being of New York’s teachers.
The other active teacher members on the Board are Elizabeth A. Chetney of the Baldwinsville Central School District and Eric J. Iberger of the Bayport-Blue Point Union Free School District. David P. Keefe of Hempstead is the retired teacher representative and serves as president of the Board.
"On behalf of our staff, I thank Sheila for her commitment to New York’s educators and her valued service on the Board,” said NYSTRS Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer Thomas K. Lee. “We welcome Juliet to the Board and look forward to the voice she will bring to our vision to be the model for pension fund excellence."