BOARD OF EDUCATION CANDIDATE INFORMATIONThree vacancies will exist on the North Tonawanda Board of Education for terms starting July 1, 2012 and ending June 30, 2015. The election to fill these vacancies will be held from noon to 9 p.m. on May 15, 2012 along with the annual school budget vote.
The following candidates will appear in this order on the ballot:
Education: BA Economics, Hobart College; MBA Accounting, Niagara University; MS Finance, Indiana University
Family: Wife, Chrissy; daughter, Taylor; sons, Matthew and Daniel
Occupation: Production Supervisor at General Motors
Affiliations: Republican Party
Experience: No political experience; work experience, Financial Analyst at GM, Invitrogen, Gibraltar Steel, National Air cargo
Reason for running: The recent economic downturn led to cuts in academics and extra-curricular activities and with a reduction in state aid, further cuts could be made. Since my children will be in the district for the next 12 years, I want to ensure the programs available today will be available in the future. My education and work experience qualifies me to formulate budget plans that will keep programs available to the district’s youth. I plan to evaluate all the district’s programs on a lost-benefit basis to ensure students are getting the best value for their parents’ tax dollars.
Education: Bachelor of Science degree from Buffalo State, 1993, in Business Administration
Family: Married to Mary Ann, 1976 graduate of NTHS; Daughter, Danielle, 2006 graduate NTHS; son, Sean, currently a sophomore at NTHS
Occupation: Deputy Commissioner at Niagara County Board of Elections
Affiliations: Currently member of Niagara SPCA, vice president of NT Hockey Booster Club, secretary of NT Baseball Boosters, baseball coach at NT American Babe Ruth League
Experience: Currently the NT School District Representative to Orleans-Niagara BOCES, NT Board Member from 2008-2011, Board Member Niagara County Head Start 2006-2011, NT Alderman 2000-2001
Reason for running: The challenge of serving on the Board of Education is trying to strike a balance between providing our children with a great education and holding the line on spending to be responsive to taxpayers. The fact is tax increases and cutting programs from our children’s education experience are viewed as the only ways to balance our current fiscal crisis. The fact is they should be our last options and not our only choices. Looking at things differently is the basis for my candidacy for the NT School Board. We need to now find creative ways to lower our cost structure in our District. For example, what services can we share with the city and county to become more efficient? How can we convince our state elected officials the time is now for our district to experience unfunded mandate relief? Can we share functions with neighboring districts more frequently like we did with the Director of Curriculum Services with Lewiston-Porter? My record as a school board member has been one of fiscal restraint and wise investments in our children. I am willing and able to make tough decisions in tough times. Good schools are important to our community and above all else NT’s future. Preserving good schools starts with electing the right board members.
Education: Alumni of Spruce Elementary, Reszel Jr. High and North Tonawanda High Class of 92; graduated Niagara-Orleans BOCES LPN program; U.S. Army Hospital Dietician, Food Service, Combat Medic, Nurse; received Connelly Award for excellence in Food Service; enrolling in D’Youville College for Bachelor in Business Management
Family: Married to Ross Bolsover, we have three children 15, 14, 10. The children all attend North Tonawanda Public Schools. I am the youngest of 7 children whom all attended North Tonawanda High School.
Occupation: I have been blessed to be a stay at home mother for the last six years. Honorably discharged as a Staff Sgt. after 15 years of service in the U.S. Army Reserves.
Affiliations: NTMS Parent Partnership, Spruce Home and School Organization, Life member of the #7545 VFW Tonawanda Post, The American Legion
Experience: Treasurer (2 yrs.) for the Spruce Home and School Organization, President (2 yrs.) for the NTMS Parent Partnership, Spruce School SDM Committee (1 yr.)
Reason for running: Working with the Parent Group Organizations as Volunteer, Member of SDM, President of NTMS Parent Partnership and Treasurer of Spruce Home and School Organization, I have enjoyed giving of my time and saw the benefits to the students and families. I am now looking to serve the whole of the community with that same sense of dedication, compassion and perseverance. My strong devotion for North Tonawanda comes from the fact that my three children are fifth generation students. Having children in all levels of education, I have an understanding of students’ and teachers’ needs and challenges that they face in achieving the children’s educational goals. I want to intensify that fire of pride to this district so that all who say NT Schools can do so knowing that their children, grandchildren, nieces or nephews are receiving the best academic, technological, supportive, caring and financially responsible education that can be offered. To do so there will be times that call for hard decisions and compromise but for the best interests of the students it can be done, it must be done. I thank you for your support in electing me as a member of the NT School Board to represent the children and the families of a city I call home.
Family: Married, three grown children who attended North Tonawanda schools, 10 grandchildren (7 of which attend North Tonawanda elementary schools)
Occupations: Retired account clerk
Experience: 16 years working for North Tonawanda Schools – most were in the Administrative office
Reason for running: My main priority is children’s education. The goal of the school district should be to provide a quality education for the children of North Tonawanda, and I feel North Tonawanda is working hard to accomplish this. With the bad economy people are facing for the next few years, we have to look for ways to keep taxes down without cutting away at our children’s programs. Having worked 16 years for the school district, I have seen the day-to-day operations and feel there are ways to save taxpayers without hurting the children. I will always be available to listen to anyone who has ideas or needs help.
Education: Regents Diploma, Mount St. Mary Academy
Family: Husband of 11 years, Gregory K. Spencer; son, Jackson Gregory Spencer, 8; daughter, Ava Marie Spencer, 5.
Occupation: Stay at home mom
Affiliations: Spruce Home and School Organization, Spruce Shared Decision Making
Experience: Active volunteer at Spruce Home School, Chairperson fall fundraiser, Chairperson of four bookfairs with increasing profits putting over $6,000 of books right in our school, Chairperson family fun nights, Chairperson reading program “Read 100,000.”
Reason for running: I am an involved and concerned mother of a second-grade boy and a kindergarten girl. As my children have 10-12 years left in the NT schools, I would like to do my part in having smaller classes and see more focus on classroom needs. For the past three years I have volunteered three days a week in my daughter’s class, and I see how much our teachers do with less help from the district and more demands for NY State. If I am elected all of my decisions and focus will be on how we can better classroom education. I want to hear from our community and be their voice on the board.
Education: Niagara Community and Virginia Commonwealth University, criminal justice degree; Instructor, Niagara University, criminal justice
Family: Wife, Julie, a NT teacher; daughter, Maria, and son, Nicholas, NT and college graduates
Occupation: Niagara County Sheriff Sergeant; 31 years in law enforcement
Affiliations: Niagara County Deputy Sheriff PBA (union) officer, Buffalo Police Emerald Society
Experience: Three years (2010-11-12) School Board, past president; Vice President Sheriff PBA union negotiating contracts, discipline-arbitration, budget process.
Reason for running: Three years of experience as a School Board Member have provided me with a wealth of knowledge regarding educational programs, budget and New York State funding practices. I believe I have developed the skills to balance and control District spending while working to maintain and develop quality programs for our students. We have been able to save and continue to offer our Reading Recovery, Foreign Language, SAT Preparation and Academy Programs. It is my intention to continue improving the efficiency of our administrative staff, to hire quality instructional and support staff, and to give every student an opportunity to succeed.