Meet the Candidate night featured Springville-Griffith Institute Board hopefuls
Monday May 20, 2013 | By:Justin Graham | News
SPRINGVILLE — The Springville Elementary School Parent Teacher Association sponsored a Meet the Board Candidates night on May 16 at the Springville-Griffith Institute High School.
Board of education candidates Bill Bursee and Allison Duwe debated various topics, in front of the gathered audience.
One board vacancy will be up for grabs, during the May 21 annual school budget vote and election of school board members. The candidate who ultimately receives the largest number of votes, will sit for a term lasting July 1 – June 30, 2016.
When asked her opinion about the school superintendent’s role, Duwe responded, “It is the board’s job to oversee the superintendent’s position and it is the superintendent’s job to carry forward the vision of the board and to implement the board’s policies, set forward. This is so we can help the superintendent manage the district and move things forward.”
The candidate clarified that she believes the superintendent should clearly define how he or she will achieve the district’s goals.
To answer the same query, Bursee said, “The superintendent’s role is to articulate a vision to our children’s education and turn this vision into a mission. This mission will move our school and educators forward in a positive way.”
The candidates were also asked what they viewed as the board’s primary responsibility.
“The board should be involved in sheer decision making and structural strategies,” Bursee said. “They should also be involved in the evaluation of personnel and policies.”
Duwe commented, “We need to advance the public’s money to advance the public good.”
That candidate said that she believed the board should constantly be reevaluating its roles. “If policies are set forth, we need to determine what is working and what is not and then make changes from those decisions,” she said, adding that building relationships within the business community is also important.
The candidates were asked what they believed the current challenges facing education and the school board are.
Bursee replied that the board is challenged with balancing the annual school budget and keeping taxes low.
“Mandated testing should not rely solely on the responsibility of the teachers,” he said. “We should find other ways to evaluate results.”
Duwe said, “The education reform movement should be well-intentioned. The mandated testing is costly and is not based on a true understanding of what our district is facing, in Western New York. This is overburdening local taxpayers, too. Keeping local taxes affordable is another challenge.”
The candidates were asked what their vision, within the community, will be.
Duwe replied, “S-GI should be a model. The people should look up to S-GI, as a blueprint for success.
“We should be on the front page of The Buffalo News, for the kind of innovations that are happening in our classrooms,” she added. “We have to think big and [aspire] to be something better than our current standard.”
Bursee said that his vision would produce “a safe learning environment for all children. I want to be involved in creating academic programs that allow for every child’s success. Our teachers need to be able to adjust their strategy, to teach children at all levels.”
The candidates were asked how they felt about extracurricular activities for students. Both candidates agreed that such activities should not be placed above academics, but that they are still important and should not be overlooked.