The Saratogian
By Jennie Grey

SARATOGA SPRINGS – The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention Council of Saratoga County announced Dec. 4 the unanimous appointment of Janine Stuchin of Saratoga Springs as permanent executive director after an extensive community-wide search.

Stuchin had served as interim director of the council for the past six months since former executive director Heather Kisselback resigned.

The Prevention Council is a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides education, information and referral services on alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and violence prevention to individuals and local communities.

“The board of directors has confirmed the recommendation of the search committee and appointed Janine Stuchin as executive director of the Prevention Council of Saratoga County,” board of directors President Richard Ferguson said. “Janine has guided the organization admirably on an interim basis and rose to the top through the long, involved selection and interview process. We are excited to have someone as the executive director who has dedicated her life to prevention, and we wish her all success.”

Stuchin has been a practicing health educator for more than 20 years and has a Master of Science degree in health education from Penn State University. Prior to her selection as executive director, she served as coalition manager with the Prevention Council for 14 years under a program funded by the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tobacco Control. She has been a certified health education specialist since 1990. Previously, Stuchin was a campus health educator at Skidmore College and Penn State University.

“I am thankful for the trust and unanimous vote of confidence the board of trustees has placed in me to rise up and meet today’s challenges on behalf of the Prevention Council,” Stuchin said. “Looking ahead to 2014, I am excited by the opportunities for this agency to not only maintain its positive growth but continue the important work reducing the impact of substance abuse, alcohol abuse, violence and other destructive behavior among our young people and within the community where we live.”

Former executive director Kisselback first offered to resign after being arrested in March for driving while intoxicated. The board chose then to keep her on, place her on a six-month probation and instruct her to get counseling. However, when Kisselback again tendered her resignation in mid-June, the board’s executive committee accepted it.

“Ms. Kisselback felt it would be in the best interest of the council for her to step down, and we agreed,” Vice President Molly Scala said.