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Candidate profile: Allison K. Duwe, Springville-Griffith School Board

Allison-DuweSchool district: Springville-Griffith

Age: 36

Town (current residence): Springville

Current occupation and/or community involvement:

I was the Executive Director of the Coalition for Economic Justice, a Buffalo nonprofit, until late 2012 when I stepped down to focus on raising my children. I am completing my first term on the School Board and have served as President for the last two years. In addition to Board service I coordinate fundraising efforts at Springville Center for the Arts and teach a creativity program for young children. I also volunteer with Springville Youth Incorporated as a soccer coach. I have been recognized by the John R. Oishei Foundation as one of WNY's most notable young leaders.

Number of years you have lived in the school district: 36

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:

May 2013, Springville School Board. Won and am just completing my first term on the Board.

Please tell us about yourself:

I want great things for kids and for our community. I was born and raised in Springville and am a 1997 graduate of SGI and hold a BA in history from Oberlin College. I have two children who attend Springville Elementary and one child at home. I ran for the school board because I saw a District that was suffering from a lack of leadership and vision. I became President in my second year on the Board and have worked to bring seven diverse voices together as a team. We've just hired a new Superintendent. We have big expectations for her but we are very confident that we now have the ethical and engaged educational leader that we need to move SGI forward.

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

The next three years at SGI are critical. The Board and the community must help the Superintendent fill three key vacancies in the District. We have to develop a capital improvement project that addresses long overdue maintenance and safety issues while being respectful to taxpayers. Most importantly we need to be kid focused and engage teachers and families in developing a long term vision for SGI. The world is changing rapidly. We need to be thinking differently about how teaching and learning happens so that our kids have the skills and competencies to succeed in an innovation economy - more cross curricular learning, more creative time, more group work, more project based learning.

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

Please explain why, in 100 words or less:

The new Commissioner is a breath of fresh air. I am particularly hopeful about her approach to re-examining the Common Core standards with teacher and parent input. There are still a lot of frustrations and challenges. But, we can deal with, embrace, or if need be ignore, a lot of what is happening at the state level if we have a creative, calm, team-oriented group of individuals working at the local level. We have that right now in Springville. SGI is finally heading in the right direction and that is great news for the people that really matter in debates about public education - kids! The current Board needs to continue the good work it has begun to get SGI moving in the right direction. Re-elect Casey & Duwe.

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