UPDATE: Election results available here.
Candidate for Pleasantville Trustee9 Sutton Place
Employment: 10 years as a computer engineer at IBM 15 years raising 3 children and volunteering in the community
Education: BS in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University MS in Computer Engineering from Syracuse University
Tenure: Resident of Pleasantville, NY for 17 firstname.lastname@example.org
Election Central: Why are you running for office or seeking re-election?
Vella: I would like the opportunity to help the Pleasantville Union Free School District improve the educational experience for all its students, while keeping taxes as low as possible.
Election Central: What in your personal, civic or professional experience recommends your election or return to office?
Vella: I have experience solving complex problems working as part of a team from my time at IBM. I have a logical thought process and the ability to weigh pros and cons and make decisions, which I have developed over years of education and experience as an engineer. I have been a parent volunteer involved in the education of my children since the first one started preschool, giving me insight and access to the educational process, so that even though I am not a teacher by profession, I am very in tune to the issues and challenges facing education today.
Election Central: What would be your top three priorities if you are elected or re-elected?
Vella: One of the biggest challenges school districts face is how to maintain and improve educational programs in the face of the increasing costs of unfunded mandates. This problem is not unique to Westchester. I believe we need to increase advocacy across the state to make our voices heard in Albany. We can do this by reaching out to school districts in upstate and western NY and showing them what we have done to make it easier for our constituents to send the message to our representatives in Albany that we need these issues addressed.
If I am elected, I would also like to enhance our STEM offerings in the district. So many things in our lives have become computerized that opportunities for programmers have never been better. I would like to see more computer programming classes offered at the high school.
Protecting enrichment programs is also a priority of mine. With tighter budgetary constraints, comes pressure to cut programs like art, music, sports, drama, etc. I believe these programs are an essential part of educating children. Not only is it emotionally healthier for students to have diverse interests, we see ever more increasingly, that colleges are looking for students with more than just a high GPA. Often times, these extracurricular activities are what keep our kids interested and excited about going to school.