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Candidate profile: Jodee L. Riordan, Lewiston-Porter School Board

Riordan-JodeeSchool district: Lewiston-Porter

Age: 47

Town (current residence): Youngstown

Current occupation and/or community involvement:

I am the mother of four, and work fulltime as an accounting/credit administrator in Niagara Falls. I have served six years on the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education, with four years as President. I am currently the host of "Your Public Schools" on LCTV and write a weekly column in the Lewiston-Porter Sentinel. Community involvement includes years of service with the PTA, Youngstown Recreation Commission, our local Library and Historical Society, and as a Girl Scout troop leader. I serve on the Board of Directors for the Youngstown Yacht Club, Academy of International Business & Finance and Spirit of the 80s.

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

Incumbent: Yes

If yes, how long have you served on the school board? 6

Have you run for office before?  Yes

If yes, please list your election history:

I first ran for the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education in 2010, defeating incumbent Ed Lilly by a 2:1 margin. I ran again in 2013, this time unopposed. I run now with fellow incumbents Anna Wright and Betty Warrick.

Please tell us about yourself:

I came to the Board in 2010 with clear goals: To improve our district's standing in both our and the greater WNY community; to restore civility and improve cooperation on the Board; to focus our attention on education and student achievement; and to provide fiscal oversight and prudence in the best interest of our community and tax-payers. I have done my best to achieve these objectives and provide strong leadership. I have worked very hard to be in the positive place we now are, and wish to continue to be an integral part of the progress and success of Lewiston-Porter.

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

The top issues facing our school district are shared with many local: Balancing declining enrollment with increasing student need, ever increasing costs, and unpredictable funding. As a school board member, I face these issues the only way possible: Head on, with the best interests of our students at heart. I am the mother of four Lew-Port students, but I approach district decision-making as if I have 2,150 children. As a board, we work together with administration and faculty to set firm and fair policy and procedure. As board members, we advocate not just for our district, but for all districts.

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

Please explain why, in 100 words or less:

I believe public education is headed in the right direction. The restoration of the GEA and increases to funding for education are steps in the right direction. We now need solid reform of education funding, starting with a review and overhaul of the flawed and outdated Foundation Aid formula. Funding of education needs to be equitable, to support strong educational programming, and predictable, to allow for long term fiscal planning. Educational reforms introduced are promising, with Commissioner Elia taking steps to be inclusive and collaborative with educators and parents. The once negative rhetoric surrounding public education has become more positive.

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