THORNWOOD, N.Y. Four candidates will vie for three spots on the Mount Pleasant Central School District Board of Education next week. On the ballot, incumbents school board members Theresa Fowler, Vincent DAmbroso and Jim Grieco will be challenged by Thomas McCabe.
The Daily Mount Pleasant spoke with candidate Theresa Fowler about herself and her plans if she is reelected on May 15.
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
-70-years-old and a 43-year resident of Hawthorne -Husband, David Fowler, is a retired Mount Pleasant Police Officer -Two daughters and two granddaughters -Currently employed as a school bus driver for Royal Coach Lines -Member of the Mount Pleasant Central School District Board of Education since 2009, vice president of the board from 2010-2011 and currently the president of the board since 2011
What other organizations are you involved with?
-Served as the board of education liaison for the Mount Pleasant Teachers Association from 2011 through 2012 -Member of the districts audit committee from 2009 through 2011. -Board of education liaison to BOCES from 2009 to 2011 -Founding member of Holy Rosary Bazaar -Founding board member of the Hawthorne Cedar Knolls Community Advisory Board beginning in 2000 -Current member of the Mount Pleasant School PTA and Septa
What do you think is your biggest accomplishment while serving on the board?
TF: Our strongest accomplishment to date is staying within the 2 percent tax cap while still maintaining all of our academic programs. Athletic programs, as well as the arts were also preserved. We were also able to add a High School Life Skills program. This program will support our special education students ensuring their placement in our district. We are very proud to have been given the opportunity to add this program. While other districts in our area were removing programs, we strived to maintain and continue our growth as a district.
In the scenario where reductions must be made in the future in order to stay under the 2 percent tax cap, what areas would you look at if you are reelected?
TF: We look at all the needs of the district each year. Although we are always planning for improvements, our focus is primarily on the community as well as the teaching staff when changes are discussed. The importance of maintaining educational excellence is always coupled with fiscal responsibility.
What do you think are the three biggest issues currently in the district and if you are reelected to the board how do you plan to resolve them?
TF: The three biggest issues are the 2 percent tax cap, unfunded mandates and collective bargaining contracts. Through negotiations, we hope to provide open communications with all unites. In addition to open communication, we need to keep in mind the community and the district while we continue to negotiate a fair and equitable contract for all. In terms of the 2 percent tax cap and unfunded mandates, the board has met and continues to meet with legislators to explain the effects of the recently enacted tax cap and the continuance of unfunded mandates. State Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson) has been invited to speak with members of our community so they can share their concerns. We will to continue to work with Superintendent Susan Guiney to maximize our resources and share services when possible.
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