Street Address: 61 Greenwood Lane, Valhalla
Race: Mount Pleasant Trustee
Political and civic experience: I have served on the Mt Pleasant Board of Education 2011-2014, Vice President 2012-2014
Family: I have a wife and 2 Children (one in High School and one in Middle School)
Residency: I have lived in the Mount Pleasant Community for 18 years.Incumbent?: Yes
Education: I have a BS in Finance from Siena College and an MBA from Fordham University
Occupation: I am currently a Compensation Analyst for an Investment Bank.
Why are you running for office or seeking re-election?
What in your personal, civic or professional experience recommends your election or return to office?
I have served on the Board of Education for the last three years, serving as Vice President the last two years. I participated on the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee for the two years prior to running for the Board of Education. I also served on the Mount Pleasant Education Foundation, which helps raise money for the educational programs of the school district. I have been very involved in the Mount Pleasant School District for many years.
During my tenure on the Board of Education, I was part of the negotiating team that has just reached a tentative agreement on a contract with the teachers, which is beneficial to both parties. I have advocated for the students and teachers in Albany and met with state legislators to enlighten them on the importance of education and why more aid is needed. I have worked hard to make sure that every child is given the same opportunities and choices. I have worked with my other board members collaboratively to make sure that our school district is making sound educational decisions during these tough economic times. While other school districts have been cutting programs and teachers, we have been improving our programs.
Previously, I worked for the New York State School Boards Association as a Policy Analyst. I have worked with many school districts to create customized policy manuals, which are used to help provide guidance to school districts when adhering to Education Law.
What would be your top three priorities if you are elected or re-elected?
Update our infrastructure at the High School and Middle School. Our buildings are in need of upgrades and repair. We need to improve our science labs, electrical, auditorium as well as the overall buildings themselves for safety purposes. I would like to pass a bond to address these issues. Regardless of the bond passing, these issues will still have to be addressed. I have asked a colleague from a neighboring school district that was successful in passing a bond, to speak at a board meeting to walk us through their process. We need to learn from his successes and incorporate those ideas into our process. I will work with Board members to provide the community with as much information as possible to help them be able to make the choice when we put this up for a vote.
Try to make change easier. It is very difficult to push forward change that could be beneficial to the students. If there are ways to improve student learning or help save programs or teachers positions, we should not be reluctant to make those changes. I will continue help the district provide the community and members of our faculty with enough data to support the benefits of any proposed change. We need open, honest, and intelligent communications that will foster positive change for our students.
Continuing to meet the challenge of providing all the opportunities we would like for our children. In the current educational environment there is an increased demand of testing and a constraint of a tax cap. It is challenging provide opportunities to children. With the help of other Board Members, Administrators, teachers and the community, I will try to improve our advocacy campaign with the state. We need to step up the pressure on our Governor. We need to demonstrate that New York is pro Education and will not stand by and watch him dismantle our communities and opportunities for our children.