Matt D. Poole of West Seneca knew exactly what he would do if he was elected to the West Seneca School Board.
He said the district needs to see where "every penny is being spent and determine if it is being spent wisely." And he knew one of the most important decisions the new board will make is hiring a new superintendent. He also is opposed to the Common Core and believes too many state assessments add stress and pressure to students who are already trying to "pass tests that matter."
But the senior at West Seneca East High School will be watching those developments from the audience. Poole, 18, came in fourth in an eight-way race for three School Board seats. He received 1,319 votes, but finished behind third-place finisher Carol Jarczyk by 258 votes.
The 2017 class president at West Seneca East High School works at Market in the Square. He is a member of West Seneca Youth Court an associate member of the West Seneca Environmental Commission, and has interned with the State Senate. He also received the Buffalo Business First Community All-Star award and is one of the West Seneca Students of Excellence.
Before the election, he said that the board needed a student's perspective.
"Education is an ever-changing environment, and someone who has been in the school system every business day for nearly 13 years is vitally needed," he said.
Poole was not endorsed by any unions, and he lost to three candidates who were endorsed by the West Seneca Teachers Association: Diane Beres, a retired Buffalo teacher, and two longtime incumbents, Janice Dalbo and Jarczyk.
He plans to attend Erie Community College, and then SUNY Buffalo State to become a social studies teacher.