May 18, 2009 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Kimberly Sacco is a 38-year-old mother of one son, Tyler, who is attending fifth grade at Onondaga Road Elementary and resident of the West Genesee School District from 1973 to 1995 and 2005-present. She is a 1988 West Genesee High School graduate, and attended Fairmount and Stonehedge Elementary and West Genesee Junior High Schools. She graduated from Colgate University in 1993 with a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and Native American Studies and is currently seeking Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor and Credentialed Prevention Professional through NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Sacco is an Advancing Youth Development Specialist and Certified Trainer and Certified Instructor-NYS DMV Drunk Driver Program.She is currently the executive director of Syracuse Onondaga Drug and Alcohol Abuse Commission.
Briefly describe your involvement with the school district in the last five years.
– Active member of the Onondaga Road Elementary PTA- volunteering at the school and at various out-of-school fundraisers.
– Co-room parent of my son’s fifth grade class
– Participant in Alumni Marching Band’s Memorial Day performance every five years (last being 2006)
– Annual participant in Camillus’ Race for Respect
– Attend & support numerous events for children of family and friends at various schools within the WG district.
What is your motivation for running for a position on the school board?
Simply, my motivation is my son and the fact that I truly enjoy public service. My professional youth development training and hands-on experience working with youth, in combination with my studies of research based best-practice strategies created the perfect opportunity for me to apply my professional knowledge to my personal involvement in my school district at this specific time. The research indicates pre-teen and early adolescence years are a crucial period in the development of a young person’s brain. Because education and the school environment are integral agents in this development, I will work to ensure the policies governing our school district provide each student the accessibility to every opportunity to become a successful, well-experienced and healthy-minded graduate of West Genesee.
With two meetings a month, the board is relatively limited in what it can accomplish. How should the board decide what is most important?
When needing to decipher numerous concerns or issues in a restricted time frame, I suggest utilization of a tool called “The (Action) Priority Matrix.” The priority of a job can be determined by the Impact to the business and the Urgency as determined by questioning the user mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_95.htm. In addition, the Board should always seek the Superintendent’s recommendation of issues of most importance and high priority.
What are the current challenges facing the board?
Our 9-month new superintendent, Dr. Chris Brown, and current Board has done a superior job in maintaining a workable budget without having to eliminate any crucial areas/programs affecting our district’s students and staff. With our country’s overall economic crisis, I feel it is imperative to continue a proactive approach in managing our district’s budget in a manner that will not increase hardships on our district’s taxpayers or decrease educational opportunities for our students.
What do you think will be the board’s biggest challenges in the next three years?
Again, maintaining a balanced budget without jeopardizing the quality academic programs and extracurricular activities offered to our students will be an on-going challenge. In addition, I feel the Board should reevaluate the start times of each school level in accordance to what research indicates to be most beneficial to ALL our students. Furthermore, I believe bullying in our schools, especially at the middle school level, should be more aggressively addressed and the community, specifically the students and parents, be more engaged in application of interventions.
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?
The community should be allotted every opportunity to voice their concerns, but more importantly, their solutions to any cuts that need to be made. The Board is obligated to seriously consider the concerns and solutions of their district’s stakeholders- not only the tax paying residents within their school district, but also the students.