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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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As a lifelong resident and product of the West Seneca Schools, I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to live, work, play and shop in our community. We also choose to have our children attend school in our district. My wife, Lisa Donato Calieri and I are actively involved parents. Our children love their schools. Maria is a freshman, while Claudia is a sixth grader and Charlie a third grader.

I believe education works best when parents, leaders and community members are supportive and involved. Strong schools enrich the community, strengthen property values and prepare us to assume supportive roles in the lives of children.

Our Children Matter! That’s WHY I’m a candidate.

I understand the climate in which we are operating and believe that our collective voice can benefit our children during these challenging times. I’ll learn more about the process so that I have a clear view and vision of the big picture and how all the component parts in a quality education interact to make a positive learning environment for every student. I’m willing to work hard to make sure that our children benefit from a quality education. I know that I will relate well to parents, staff and students. I have volunteered as a PTG Board Member, a Classroom Parent, a JA Volunteer and Community Volunteer. After a 2007 unsuccessful school board attempt, I became more involved in other areas. I helped to create the Academy of Information Technology Summer Camp for 7th/8th Graders to investigate and understand the employment opportunities which are available and the possibility of joining the academy program. I assisted with the Partners in Education Breakfast, Students of Excellence Dinner, 21st Century Committee and a panelist at Winchester Elementary Leadership Day. In 2012 I received a Community Recognition Award as an individual that made outstanding contributions to not only the schools, but the community. I’m confident that my strengths will be a tremendous asset, as the Board strives to fulfill a vision that facilitates an excellent education, which results in the brightest of futures for our children. I would appreciate your vote.