Board candidates answer questions

Richard Pento

Biographical information:

Secondary Science Teacher, John C Birdlebough High School, Phoenix Central School District

Amy -- Wife, Spanish teacher, Liverpool High School

Julie -- Age 9, Grade four, Morgan Road

Jack -- Age 5, entering Kindergarten Fall '07

Why are you running for school board?

I have experience in many different facets of the educational field. I have been in the classroom for 13 years, 3 as a substitute teacher at Liverpool, and the last 10 as a secondary science teacher. I currently serve as a union executive board member for my district and last year, I completed my administrative program and served as an administrative intern. I am a current member of the Liverpool Code of Conduct committee. I have been involved as a coach and an official in youth athletics for children age 4 to age 21. I believe this diversity of experience provides me a broad perspective that will be an asset to the board and community.

What challenges does the district face and how will you address them as a board member?

I believe the district is facing a public perception issue. The programs and education provided by the LCSD are as strong as ever and should be lauded. Unfortunately, many of the issues that seem to be the focus of discussion are negative and disruptive in nature and are interfering with the primary focus of the district. I hope to provide opportunity for clarification and communication between the district and the community so that we can refocus and recommit our energies to the important tasks of the district.

What will you do as a board member to ensure that the services and education received by Liverpool students continues to improve while maintaining a fiscally responsible budget?

The most important part of any educational program is at the classroom level between the teacher and the student. The district needs to ensure that the money being spent on its programs will provide a benefit to that interaction which is the basis for the students' educational experience. The district then needs to provide for the enriching experiences that cultivate the spirit as well as the mind. Programs and/or expenditures that do not focus on student development need to be evaluated to see if they justify the expense.

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