May 18, 2009 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Doreen has been a reading teacher with the Syracuse City School District for 22 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from LeMoyne College and a master’s degree and certificate of advanced study from Syracuse University. She is currently a member of the NYS Association for Women in Administration and SCSD Middle School Level Task Force, a former co-chair of the Bishop Ludden Jr/Sr High School Board of Commissions and previously sat on the Onondaga County Board of Elections committee.
She lives with her husband, John, in Camillus, and three children, Brittany, 22, Alyssa, 19, and Michael, 16.
Briefly describe your involvement with the school district in the last five years.
I have been a resident, parent, volunteer and active community member in the West Genesee School District for the past seven years. My son, Michael, is currently in tenth grade at the high school.
What is your motivation for running for a position on the school board?
I consider myself to be a lifelong learner and love the field of education (which is also my area of expertise). The West Genesee School District continuously affords my son an excellent education. I would like to give back to the District and Community what they have afforded my family by volunteering my knowledge and ability to help move our district forward continuing in our educational excellence.
During this difficult economic time, I would provide a new voice on the board representing the Community, working collaboratively with all stakeholders. I have the ability to listen and make informed decisions (as a team member) based on data and the well being of our West Genesee student population.
With a feeling of great pride, I am honored to live in such an outstanding community. To show my appreciation, I would like to become part of our district’s team helping to carry out the pledge of our vision. I believe my experience, leadership skills and passion are positive contributors which would enable me to effectively fulfill the responsibilities of a school board member.
With two meetings a month, the board is relatively limited in what it can accomplish. How should the board decide what is most important?
The board of education, based on the recommendation of the Superintendent, should prioritize the issues to be decided upon. Included in the process is consideration taken from concerns of the Community. Anything that affects the safety of our students, I believe, would be considered top priority.
What are the current challenges facing the board?
One of the current challenges facing the board of education is contending with the Federal and State mandates placed on our school districts. The challenge comes into play when our government falls short on supplying the funding needed to comply with some of these mandates. The school board must be fiscally responsible to the community, continuing to make our schools safe and secure, achieving educational excellence, while having minimal impact on our taxpayers.
What do you think will be the board’s biggest challenges in the next three years?
Preparing the budget for the school year, I consider a continuously challenging task. We need to be creative and think outside the box in order to reduce costs for our community without impacting the education and extra-curricular activities of our children.
If it becomes necessary to make significant budget cuts, to what extent should the community be involved in deciding where such cuts should be made?
If significant budget cuts become necessary, I believe all people involved must be equally represented to make the difficult choice of determining where our district should cut back. Each should work together while making informative decisions for the well-being of our student population. The board of Education would represent the students, families and taxpayers devoted to decision-making in the best interests of our students, in order to prepare them for the future, while living in an increasingly competitive environment.