Election Being Held for Retired Teacher Board Seat


An election is being held for the retired teacher member seat on NYSTRS' 10-member Board. The successful candidate will serve a three-year term from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2025. The candidates are:

  • Incumbent Board President David P. Keefe of Hempstead.
    His alternate is Donna A. Martin of Albany.
  • Sally L. Courtright of Loudonville.
    Her alternate is Mary T. Finneran of Cairo.

Learn more about the candidates below. Information about the Board, including trustee responsibilities, is available in the Retirement Board section of this website.

The election will be held by mail vote. Ballots will be distributed and tabulated by a third-party firm, American Arbitration Association. All NYSTRS members who are retired as of Oct. 1, 2022 are eligible to vote. The ballot mailing began Oct. 1. NYSTRS retirees should watch their mailbox for an envelope with NYSTRS' logo and the message "Important! Election for Retired Teacher Member of NYSTRS Board. Ballot Enclosed." See question six of our FAQs for a picture of the envelope. Ballots must be returned or postmarked by Oct. 31. 

The Board of Elections will meet Monday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m. to certify the election results. The outcome will be made public within one business day and will be announced on this website.

If you are a NYSTRS retiree and you lost or damaged your ballot, please call the American Arbritration Association hotline at (800) 529-5218, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. Additional questions about the election are addressed in our FAQs.

About the Candidates

David P. Keefe Sally L. Courtright

David P. Keefe

I am seeking re-election as the retiree member of the TRS Board.

I retired from a forty-year teaching career in 2004. I have served on many Board Committees:  six years as vice-president and seven as board president.  My first term I dedicated to learning the ins and outs of the pension world. I attended numerous workshops and conferences aiming to increase my value to the System.  In 2006 I received a certificate in Pension Plan Administration; the first retired Board Trustee to do so. Over the next 16 years I continued my studies at Harvard and UC Berkeley.  I also attended the Rothman School of Business in preparation for the Board Presidency.

My education efforts have been great preparation for my governance role on the Board.  I have also made several presentations to pension trustees from other states and to retired teachers on pension matters.  I am extremely well-prepared to continue my current role on the TRS Board.

I thank all of you for the support that you have given me over the past eighteen years and have enjoyed meeting many of you in my travels addressing you at workshops and meetings.

David Keefe


Sally L. Courtright

I grew up in the Southern Tier, graduated from Union-Endicott and student-taught at Maine-Endwell. I have been married for decades, have three children and five grandchildren. I taught at North-Colonie.

As a teacher, I taught science in grades seven through twelve, but the bulk of my career was teaching Regents Biology. I also taught in a NYS men’s prison. There I learned the true value of a good education because without it, life can be tough.

As a retiree, in addition to time with grandchildren and gardening I write letters to the editor. I have been published in a variety of papers including the NY Times and The Washington Post.

The NYSTRS fund has been robust for years which is good for our wonderful, hard-working teachers. But this fund needs tweaking as it holds about $4.5 billion in fossil fuel investments.

NY’s Common Retirement Fund has divested from fossil fuels along with three major public funds in NYC. Under the federal climate law (IRA) and the state climate law (CLCPA) fossil fuel use will be in a steep decline.

It’s time for a change! NYSTRS needs to find the courage to wisely divest from fossil fuels. 

Please vote for Sally.