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Candidate profile: Heidi S. Salva, Iroquois School Board

School district: Iroquois

Age: 59

Town (current residence): Marilla

Current occupation and/or community involvement:

Retired Educator Board President of Buffalo Niagara Choirs Volunteer with Boys and Girls Club Volunteer with refugee families Volunteer with Young Audiences of WNY

Number of years you have lived in the school district: 13

Incumbent: No

Have you run for office before? No

Please tell us about yourself:

After 30 years in education, I have recently retired. My career spanned Grades K-12 with jobs as a teacher, instructional coach, building principal, and director of instructional services. My areas of expertise include grant writing, building management and budgets, staff evaluations, staff development, curriculum, data, program evaluation, and technology integration. I have kept active in the community through volunteer work focused on educational programming for youth, the arts, and helping refugee families on Buffalo's West side. Like Nelson Mandela, I believe that, "Education is the most powerful tool we have to change the world."

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

The biggest issues that face our district continue to be fiscal responsibility, maintaining quality programs, and safety and security. In my experience in education and as a member on other boards, the best way to address any issue is to be prepared, listen to all aspects, and look at the big picture. This means no preconceived agendas or letting the loudest voice or a special interest group overshadow the good of the cause.

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

Please explain why, in 100 words or less:

The ideals of our public education have always been excellent but sometimes the implementation has been flawed. The most highly publicized has been the common core and testing. Educators believe that students should be equipped with higher order thinking skills and making connections across curricula which is the premise of the common core. Teachers and administrators have no problem being held accountable. However when NYS implemented the common core, the tests, and the teacher/administrator evaluation all at the same time, there was no way to work through issues, inequities and the problems that arose. That is why Commissioner Elia is now trying hard to remedy the concerns.

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