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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 Betty Vandenbosch-Warrick and I am a candidate for the Lewiston-Porter Board of Education. I would like to take this opportunity to summarize my experience and qualifications in hopes that you will support me with your vote in the upcoming election on May, 21, 2013.

My career as a volunteer advocate for children began when my oldest son entered Kindergarten. I was immediately welcomed into the busy, involved, Elementary PTA and quickly found that our PTA was about a lot more than bake sales and chaperoning field trips. Being invited by the now retired principal of the PEC, Mrs. Peggy Beach, to serve on the Building Leadership Team was my first foray into the Shared Decision Making process at Lew-Port. We worked as a team on everything from safe Halloween celebrations, to the District’s Strategic Plan. Health and wellness were always high on our list as well as encouraging parent participation in the school. I had the pleasure of filling the parent seat on many interview teams helping to select some of the teachers who are educating our children today.

By the time my third child entered school, I was a full-fledged PTA mom, serving on the board as treasurer, President and eventually VP during my tenure, leaving the Elementary PTA in the hands of some very capable up and coming leaders in our district this year.

Professionally, my work at Yorkville Sound where I currently serve as General Manager of the US Operation, coming from a Credit Management background, gives me the strong financial skills needed to help develop budgets and understand the complexities of a school district’s financial operations.

Like all districts across the nation, Lew-Port is struggling to meet all the requirements with less money from the state every year. High stakes testing, new Core Curriculum requirements, daily Physical Education in early elementary are all things districts have had to pay for in the past few years while seeing less and less from the state in support of these mandates.

These are going to be some important years for Lew-Port. There’s a large Capital Improvement Project in the works, which I am hoping you will come out to vote for and support. It’s important to note that Capital Improvement projects, which must be approved by the voters, are not funded with money that is available to be used for education. We can’t hire teachers with these funds, so please don’t look at the cuts being made and wonder why we’re spending money on improvements. The High School is in dire need of a roof. The pool is on the second floor and leaking, causing damage to the floors below. The entry ways are not as secure as they should be. The parking areas need improvement for safety reasons as well as to accommodate visitors properly.

Another exciting project is the proposed Civic & Event Community.

The direction of Lew-Port moves as a district will be defined over the next few years with important changes to administration, programming and staff.

It will be my goal to make these decisions with thoughts to the needs of all our district’s stakeholders while serving as your representative on the Board of Education.