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The Buffalo News invited school board candidates to provide a statement about why they are running for office.

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Hello. My name is Stephen Hart. I am a long time member of the Kenton community. I was a Kenmore West student- athlete, where I captained the Wrestling and Football teams before graduating in 2000. Since the day I moved to the Village of Kenmore I instantly became part of community organizations and sports programs.

I am vying for a seat on the Kenton School District Board of Education on May 21, 2013. After graduating from Kenmore West High school I was hired by the Kenton school District in the Buildings 7 Grounds department. I served in the Buildings & Grounds department for nearly 12 years. Over those 12 years I climbed the career ladder with great success. In addition, I was an assistant wrestling and football coach at Kenmore West and East High Schools. While, I was a full time employee for the Kenton schools, I put myself through college and obtained an Associates degree in General studies from Erie community College, and a Bachelors degree in Special and Elementary Education from Buffalo State College. I am now an educator at Amherst central, and wrestling coach for Iroquois central. In over 22 years that I have been part of the district’s schools from the perspective of a student, athlete, and employee Kenton Schools have always had great integrity and been a premier school district. At one point over those 22 years every one of the schools within the Kenton District has won a New York State School of Excellence Award. Over recent years the school district has taken a decline. From my inside knowledge, by being a 12 year employee, I know where the troubled areas are, and what needs to be fixed. I have seen first hand irresponsible spending of tax payer dollars, unfair practices, huge student program and job cuts, and a consolidation study that in insufficient with details. These consolidation studies lack state mandated academic support rooms for special needs students (approximately 25 percent of Kenton students are special needs students), and the district owned administration buildings were not surveyed in the study. I have a unique perspective that no other candidate has. I have been part of many of the districts operations and departments including, Food Service, Buildings & Grounds, and Transportation departments. In addition, adding my education background in teaching, my experience in the athletics department from coaching, and my nearly 12 years within many departments in Kenmore schools, I possess almost all of the intangibles to help return Kenmore Schools to the premier school district that it was for many years.

Last, but not least, I stand for quality education, responsible spending, restoring education programs, restoring jobs, technologically progressing in education, and keeping tradition, by not consolidating, and rebuilding integrity. There has been a decline in tradition and integrity in Kenmore Schools with the current practices. Change will help rebuild what Kenmore Schools once was, a New York State District of Excellence. On May 21, 2013 have a Hart for education. Vote Stephen Hart for Kenmore School Board of Education.