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Candidate profile: Bill Gallagher, Lancaster School Board

bill-gallagherSchool district: Lancaster

Age: 39

Town (current residence): Lancaster

Current occupation and/or community involvement:

I have been a mathematics teacher in the Frontier Central School district for the past 11 years, spending 7 years at Frontier High School and the past 4 years at Frontier Middle School. I have taught various levels of math from 7th grade up to AP Statistics. I have been involved in various curricular decisions and leadership opportunities at Frontier and am always looking to improve to help my students achieve their academic and life goals. This experience helps give another perspective to serving on the Lancaster Board of Education.

Number of years you have lived in the school district: 9

Incumbent: Yes

If yes, how long have you served on the school board? 3

Have you run for office before?  Yes

If yes, please list your election history:

Lancaster Board of Education 2013

Please tell us about yourself:

I went back to school at age 25 to become a mathematics teacher and to help young people find success in school. I have always stressed the importance of a high quality education for all students and Lancaster does a great job of meeting those lofty goals. I am running for the same reason that I ran 3 years ago, to give back to the district that has provided so much for my daughters. My daughter Amelia has received various services from the Lancaster School District at 4 years old and continues to thrive at 10 years old. My daughter Ella has also enjoyed many different programs of the Lancaster School District.

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

We have more than a few issues facing our school district. Some of them are common to all school districts in WNY such as funding schools from NYS, the common core assessments and the reaction by the opt out movement and the transgender bathroom concerns. My role is to take an open-minded approach to all things that are presented to board of education and try to find a solution for all of our students. Making sure that all of our students feel supported as well as safe while making decisions that are in the best interests of our school community. It can be a difficult path but one that I hope to accomplish.

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

Please explain why, in 100 words or less:

New York Education department has made some progress in how it has handled some issues in the past. However, it remains to be seen if they can regain the public trust in how they move forward. Disconnecting the student success on an assessment to teacher evaluations is a good step forward but many remain skeptical on how NYS will continue to make the right decisions. By having Commissioner Elia make appearances and answer questions of the parents was a positive new step and one that was not done with the previous NYS Commissioner of Education.

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