I am running for a second term on the Gloversville Enlarged School District Board of Education as we have unfinished business and wanted to share some details. I have two children in the district attending Kingsborough (the same elementary school I attended). I graduated from RPI with a B.S. in nuclear engineering and Pepperdine with an MBA. It is evident we suffer from problems including low morale as staff members speak about concerns not being heard and of a lack of direction in the district, poor results for our students (graduation rates in the low 50 percentile and now our district under state focus being rated in the bottom 10 percent), and parents/students concerns over bullying. All the while, school taxes become a crippling amount for families (spending has increased more than 71 percent in 10 years, while student population is down).
These issues are frustrating to me as there is no good reason for this to be happening as we have fantastic facilities, great employees and a community that is very concerned with educating children. We are missing only a few pieces of the puzzle in order to put a clear picture together.
We have made progress these past three years forefronting some important issues plaguing our district. Only when we continue down this road making specific changes in the current BOE workings will we be able to turn the tide. We still do not have any goals/vision/mission in place, have failed to give our administrator's feedback via performing annual reviews, and still get meeting agendas and $58-plus million budgets (having little input on either) the Friday before the Monday meetings where we are expected to have done our due diligence and vote. Going down the same old path of operating the district in a vacuum with only a handful of people making decisions and expecting a different outcome is insanity. We are better than this. Complying with mandates and pursuing educational excellence giving taxpayers value for their precious dollars lies in sponsoring an open discussion with all relevant parties including the community, parents, students, staff, and administration. We must have a point/counterpoint discussion on relevant topics narrowing things down to a direction/focus to follow in which the group constructs a consensus best suiting all parties. We can then work together with mutual respect, keeping a mind's eye on our students while forging a new direction.