Six candidates are running for two spots on the Oneonta City Board of Education. The election is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 26. This week, Place 2 candidates are featured; Place 4 candidate profiles will appear next week.
Age: 44 Family: wife, Melinda ; son, Bailey, age 15 and a sophomore at Oneonta High School; daughter Chaney, age 12 and a sixth-grader at Oneonta Middle School Reason for running: “My reasoning is very simple – I want to help our school in any way I can. I’m a parent of two children who attend Oneonta schools, and I am a resident of this city. I was asked to run for this position, and I have always been open to volunteering. For three years, I volunteered as the Oneonta golf coach, and for the past four years I have been the vice president of the booster club. I don’t have a particular platform, although I maintain that the curriculum is extremely important, but I want to do what is best for the students, their education, and the betterment of our school. Whatever falls into that, I will make a moral and ethical decision on what steps to take to ensure it happens. I’m not going into this with an agenda to change the world, but, as far as curriculum goes, I’m not saying we have a bad curriculum at Oneonta schools, however, there is always room for improvement so that our students can better prepare themselves for college and the future.”STACY BROWN
Age: 33 Family: husband, Barry; daughter, Jasmine, age 21 and a 2011 graduate of Oneonta High School; daughter, Justice, age 12 and a seventh-grader at Oneonta Middle School; daughter Bari, age 3 Reason for running: “Funding, art, and teacher morale are the three reasons which drove me to run for this position. Recently, spending at Oneonta schools started to change. The art program was removed, and $30,000 worth of funding was spent on the parking lot. I realize the city helped in that endeavor, but different ways exist to use that funding. Art is important for cognitive development, and as of now, no art programs are available for children at our school. All of this goes back to funding, it should be spent in a correct manner and more frugal way. The funds are there, it is just the process of increasing certain areas of spending and decreasing others. Additionally, boosting teacher morale is important. They are the base of the school, and they deserve respect. If they aren’t happy, those problems need to be conveyed and the community and leaders should listen to what they have to say. They’re on the front lines and know what is happening in the schools. I want to be a part of an education system that inspires teachers and children.”
LISA STOFFREGEN WESTER
Age: 39 Family: husband, Jim, and daughter Lois Ann, age 8 and a third-grader at Oneonta Elementary Reason for running: “My primary concern will always be the well-being and safety of the students and putting their needs first. In conjunction, I have worked with OFFER since 2010 to find new revenue for technology in the classroom. Technology will change the teacher’s role in the classroom and open new doors for the student, never before available. With all new programs, there is a learning curve and hiccups may arise. In order to successfully implement a technology program, several key factors need to be in place from the beginning. Proper planning and research being No.1 on the list. Surveying the faculty and working to address their concerns and needs, as well as ensuring professional development is in place to give teaches the support they need to be successful in the classroom. Informing the public and keeping them abreast of all information is also important, and finally, having a robust infrastructure and platform capable of keeping the entire system fully functioning.”