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Candidate profile: Teresa A Leatherbarrow, Williamsville School Board

Teresa-LeatherbarrowSchool district: Williamsville

Age: 39

Town (current residence): Williamsville

Current occupation and/or community involvement:

Elementary Education Teacher, Buffalo Public Schools

Number of years you have lived in the school district: 4

Incumbent: No

Have you run for office before?

No

Please tell us about yourself:

I am married and have three children, one at each building level. I earned a Master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Medaille College and a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from SUNY Fredonia. I have worked as a public school teacher for nearly 20 years and am passionate about causes that impact teaching and learning. I am running for the school board because I believe parents and educators should make the decisions that effect how our children spend their day.

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

Federal and State mandates regarding APPR, Common Core, and NYS assessments are the biggest challenge facing our district. These mandates, largely unfunded, are monopolizing district resources and sucking the joy from our classrooms. As a board member, I will advocate for fair funding and local control at the regional and state level. In addition, my husband and I will continue to opt out our children from high stakes testing, until the demands of parents are met (www.nysape.org). I will support the rights of parents to make informed decisions regarding the education of their children, and will work to be sure the information they receive is accurate.

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

Please explain why, in 100 words or less:

Parents across NYS have led a movement to refuse high stakes tests that mislabel our children and privatize our schools. One benefit of this movement is the appointment of Betty Rosa as Chancellor of the Board of Regents. Regent Rosa is a strong advocate for children who is already cleaning house at the state education department. In response to the joint efforts of parents and educators, many states are dropping Common Core and teacher evaluation systems that are tied to student test scores. Parents and educators with a vested interest in public schools are also stepping up to run for their local school boards. These are all signs that change is possible and that the people have the power to bring this change.

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