Town (current residence): Orchard Park
Current occupation and/or community involvement:
I am currently a full time 2nd year student who commutes to and from the University at Buffalo, pursuing a degree in Legal studies. At UB, I work with ESL students through the ELI. On weekends during the semester I work as a lab technician at Niacet Corporation in Niagara Falls. I regularly volunteer as a coach and/or referee for the Orchard Park Soccer Club.
Number of years you have lived in the school district: 14
Have you run for office before? No
Please tell us about yourself:
I am a product of the Orchard Park school system. I attended school in the district from 1st to 12th grade. I know the ins and outs of our school district. Although I am 19 years old and some may think it to be a weakness, I know it to be a great strength. I graduated 2 years ago with the class of 2014. Two years out from the OP school system, I know what it means to apply my education in my studies at University as well as in life. I also have 4 younger siblings who attend school in the district.
Please describe the top issues facing your school district and how you would address them as a school board member:
Much to the relief of the District, and thanks to a fiscally responsible board, our district is no longer struggling to hold its head just above water. We are in a position of great potential to bring our education system into the 21st century through innovative teaching techniques and classroom applicable technology. My experience as a high school and university student of the 21st century would be useful when developing programs to apply classroom tech for students and teachers efficiently. Other than that, maintaining comprehensive programs for students and faculty through fiscally responsible decisions is important as well.
Do you think public education in New York is headed in the right direction? No
Please explain why, in 100 words or less:
State mandates have taken away a lot of power from local school boards. The state cannot simply implement the same standards of student/teacher/principal evaluation and curriculum across all public school districts. While some aspects of new education legislation may benefit some schools, there needs to be a way for schools who are not benefitting from or are in fact being hurt by said legislation, to petition or opt out, while still receiving the funding necessary to run a successful school system. I believe the current initiatives to be flawed at best, and until they are substantially reformed, I cannot say that NY public education is headed in the right direction.