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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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In 2011, I assisted with a mentoring program at the elementary school, Harry F. Abate. There, I saw how badly some of the students in this school district were failing. That experience showed me the chasm that exists in the understanding of what is needed in our schools and what is perceived. That chasm needs to be breached for all students to succeed. Education should be about equipping the students with the knowledge that will enable them to compete in today’s world without an undue cost to the tax payer. I believe in educating the children of today, so they will be able to lead tomorrow.

I came from the same situations that many of the students live in. With forty two percent of the students living in poverty, it is imperative that programs are put in place that would increase the graduation rate and lower the number of drop-outs. This can be achieved by reallocating resources. With the decrease in state aid and the rising tax levy, it is important now more than ever that resources are used wisely. This includes hiring teachers based on their qualifications and not nepotism. With the selection of a new superintendent, that salary should be performance based. We need new and effective leadership. I am that leader.