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Candidate profile: Daniel L. Calabrese, Jr., Tonawanda City School Board

daniel-calabreseSchool district: City of Tonawanda

Age: 56

Town (current residence): City of Tonawanda

Current occupation and/or community involvement:

I currently work for Fisher Associates, P.E., L.S., L.A., and D.P.C., an Engineering Firm, as a Construction Manager/Senior Engineering Technician. I am an active member of Saint Timothy's R.C. Church. I have been volunteering as the Parish Chairman of the Catholic Charities Appeal for the past twenty-five years. In the past I was a coach and a member of the Board of Directors of the Tonawanda Soccer Club.

Number of years you have lived in the school district: 29

Incumbent: No

Have you run for office before? Yes

If yes, please list your election history:

I served previously on the City of Tonawanda School District Board of Education from July 1999 to June 2008. During that period I served as Board President for three years and Board Vice President for three years.

Please tell us about yourself.:

I grew up in the Town of Tonawanda and graduated from Kenmore West Senior High School in 1978. I attended Erie Community College for Construction Technology from 1978 to 1980. I married my wife Karen in 1981. We have been married for thirty-five years. We moved to the City of Tonawanda in 1987 and bought a house here. We have two children, Stefan and Andrea. Both of our children graduated from Tonawanda High School where they were each three sport athletes. I now enjoy spending time at home with our two dogs as well as camping.

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

I believe our District is no different than most with the budget being the top issue. The cost of education continues to grow and finding ways to save money is getting tougher. Employee costs to any employer continue to grow due to health insurance and wages. Federal and State mandates continue to tie District hands when budgeting. Consolidation within the District is one way to try to save money. As a Board member, I will continue to look at the consolidation of our three remaining Primary Schools. I believe housing the Primary students in one building will help lower costs and provide flexibility with class sizes and staff numbers.

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

Please explain why, in 100 words or less.:

I honestly am not sure. I am not, and do not pretend to be, an educator. I do not believe though that all students are created equal. Not all students are college bound. Trade schools seem to have been forgotten about in the suburban districts. In the past there were not enough BOCES spots open for interested students and there is still a negative association with being a BOCES student. I do not know enough about the core curriculum to speak to it but from what I have read, it does not seem as though it was instituted very well. The State B.O.E. is looking at changes and I will reserve judgment until more information is made available.

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