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Candidate profile: Joan M. Kelly, Springville-Griffith School Board

School district: Springville-Griffith Institute

Age: 59

Town (current residence): East Concord

Current occupation and/or community involvement:

I served on the Springville-Griffth Institute Board of Education from 2009-2014. During my term I was actively involved with the Erie County Association of School Boards where I served on the Legislative and Budget Committees, and was appointed to the Association's Executive Committee. In 2014 I was honored to receive an ECASB Medallion Club Award for outstanding service and ongoing dedication to leadership and learning.

Number of years you have lived in the school district: 11

Incumbent: No

Have you run for office before? Yes

If yes, please list your election history:

Elected to the Springville-Griffith Institute Board of Education in 2009.

Please tell us about yourself:

As a former teacher, I have taught in a private catholic high school; a large suburban middle & high school; a rural middle & high school, and a city technical high school. My teaching encounters exposed me to demographics within the borders of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Minnesota and New York. Those experiences have given me a broad understanding of teaching children at all levels and in various socioeconomic situations. They also provided me with a working knowledge of how children learn and the importance of the environment where learning takes place.

Please describe the top issues facing your school district and how you would address them as a school board member:

The primary responsibilty of a school district is student learning. It is also responsible for providing staffs with ongoing training and the support they need to help each child achieve. While the Board of Education is not involved in the day-to-day business of teaching and learning, it is responsible for the conditions that allow for successful teaching & learning to occur. The Board must help to provide an environment that promotes open dialogue with the community & staff; that ensures accountability at all levels, that welcomes diversity of thought and that provides a forum free from politics.

Do you think public education in New York is headed in the right direction? No

Please explain why, in 100 words or less.:

There are days when I am not quite sure what direction public education is headed. SED has a habit of changing rules in the middle of the game so that focus is lost and direction altered. It appears that the demands regarding testing override the fundamental core regarding how children learn and their social/emotional needs.

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