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Candidate profile: Dawn M. Stinner, Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School Board

Dawn-StinnerSchool district: Ken-Ton

Age: 43

Town (current residence): Tonawanda

Current occupation and/or community involvement:

I am a business proprietor with 2 family run businesses located in the Town of Tonawanda. I am a Public School Advocate and mother of five children, 2 with Special Needs who attend Ken-Ton Public Schools. I am an Associate Director of Western Region PTA and am currently on my second term as President of the Kenmore-Tonawanda PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association) Council.

Number of years you have lived in the school district: 16

Incumbent: No

Have you run for office before? No

Please tell us about yourself:

I have been an active district stakeholder for 8 years serving on such committees as the SES Focus Group, Hiring, Public Relations, Legislative Advocacy and Shared Decision Making Team. I have spearheaded letter writing campaigns, organized educational rallies, met with local and state elected officials to advocate for Fair Educational Funding and state-wide mandated educational programming changes. I have been an outspoken advocate for children with Special Needs, being a voice for the voiceless. As part of my business I have developed an Advocacy & Outreach program which helps promote child Safety & Security while on the Internet.

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

3 Current Ken-Ton challenges are 1. Curriculum/Program issues 2. Communication 3. District Consolidation. I would like to see a redevelopment of our Special Education program both curriculum and life skills based to try and keep students with Special Needs in our home district. I would like to facilitate with increased communication between the District Leadership, Educators, Students and Parents. I would like to see continuity in curriculum; adopting programs that both encourage student achievement and allow for more educational freedom by educators. I would like to see our District rebound from Consolidation with a new outlook, keeping our students' educational needs above all.

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

Please explain why, in 100 words or less:

NYSED claims to have an aligned system that supports student success from Pre-K to College then career. Yet students who do not fit in the standard 85 or higher achievement category continue to struggle with the fast paced Common Core Curriculum and unrealistic standards. An overemphasis on testing takes away from meaningful learning in the classroom while an unfair funding system leaves impoverished areas struggling to meet the educational needs of their most vulnerable students. Unfunded mandates both Federal and State plague public schools, leaving little or no resources to encourage Educational and personal success.

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