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Candidate profile: Bob J. Dana, Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board

bob-danaSchool district: Ken-Ton

Age: 70

Town (current residence): Kenmore

Current occupation and/or community involvement:

Currently, I'm a retired high school teacher serving my sixth year as a member of the Board of Education for the Kenmore - Town of Tonawanda UFSD. As such I am very involved in my community. Typically, Board members attend not only Board meetings but a wide range of committee meetings in addition to the cultural and athletic events offered at each of our twelve schools.

Number of years you have lived in the school district: 62

Incumbent: Yes

If yes, how long have you served on the school board? 6

Have you run for office before?  Yes

If yes, please list your election history:

Just twice before - Ken-Ton Board of Education in 2010 & 2013 & won both times

Please tell us about yourself:

As a Ken-Ton resident for over 60 years, my entire family is comprised of Ken-Ton graduates many of whom are also public school educators. Prior to retiring from my full-time position as a business teacher, I taught college-level courses part-time and served as a state education department consultant. Upon retirement I began teaching K-12 as a Ken-Ton substitute. Then six years ago I was elected to your Board of Education and served as President for the next five years. Thus, I believe my experience will be invaluable as we work together to achieve our goal was a premier school district.

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

While issues regarding Common Core, testing, and teacher evaluations linger, additional concerns spawned by our consolidation initiative such as staffing, grade configurations, transportation, the implementation of new reading and math programs, and the likelihood of revisions in middle and elementary schedules have contributed to the lowest employee morale seen in many years. Solutions can only be achieved through a true collaborative effort amongst all stakeholders, working in an atmosphere of mutual respect, who are not only committed towards finding successful resolutions, but are ultimately dedicated to providing a first class education for every child in our district.

Do you think public education in New York is headed in the right direction? Yes

Please explain why, in 100 words or less:

While I believe that New York State schools are headed in the right direction, they have a long way to go. The elimination of the GEA and increased state aid have made it easier for districts to balance their budgets. However, it doesn't make up for the millions of dollars in lost revenue that districts have experienced over the last several years. Increased testing modifications are required to reduce parent and educator concerns for demands on our children. While many of us still hope for the day when teacher evaluations and curriculum is left to local control.

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