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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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I am an Honors Scholar at the University of Buffalo studying Business Management. As a 2012 graduate of Clarence, I am seeking a position on the Clarence School Board. I feel that my experiences as a former student will offer the board a unique perspective. I was enrolled in several AP classes, performed in plays and music ensembles, and volunteered at events held at the elementary schools, Brothers of Mercy, and Roswell Park. As a member of the Clarence High School Improvement Team, I was a student ambassador between Clarence High and the National Academy of Finance. The work the team did last year enabled the nationally recognized program to be instituted at Clarence. As the President of the National Honor Society, I worked to coordinate volunteer opportunities for over 100 students at Habitat for Humanity, Day in the Park, Gilda’s Club, Roswell, Hospice, and other area institutions. I also sat on the Parish Council at Our Lady of Peace Church.

One of my concerns relates to the dramatic increase in taxes that is included in this year’s budget. Not only is this putting stress on the district but it is also dividing the community. I understand that it costs money to run the excellent programs at Clarence, but I can’t help but wonder if better planning would have prevented this polarizing issue.

I also find the current system implemented by the state to evaluate teachers to be grossly ineffective. I understand that there needs to be teacher accountability but it should not be tied to a one day snapshot of student achievement. These tests that the state has required are draining district funds and narrowing the curriculum.

As a student I have always looked for ways to improve my school. As a board member I know that I can find ways to improve the district. I would appreciate your vote.