Three people seek three seats on the Warwick Valley School Board

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  • Sharon Davis

  • Lynn Lillian

  • Dave Eaton

— Voters in the Warwick Valley School District will decide on Tuesday, May 15, whether to approve a proposed $92,819,749 budget and pick three people for its school board.

Three incumbents - Lynn Lillian, Sharon Davis and Dave Eaton - stand unopposed for reelection.

What follows are statements by the candidates, provided by the school district:

Lynn LillianMy name is Lynn Lillian and I have lived in Warwick for 30 years. My husband and I have 3 children, all proud Warwick graduates. I was originally motivated to run for the board because I was concerned about two significant challenges facing our district: rapidly changing educational expectations and a chronic shortfall in education funding that threatens to undermine our districts’ ability to meet those changing expectations. During my nine years on the board I have been privileged to be a part of meeting those challenges and am proud of the progress the district has made in service to our students. Far from guaranteed, our progress is a testament to our community, our staff and most importantly, our students.

Through multiple strategic planning initiatives, the community has provided feedback that helped craft a vision for the district that assures our students graduate with the skills to thrive in an innovation driven-economy. This vision and culminating long-range goals also provide our district with a road map by which to set priorities. Sound budgeting practices, informed by those priorities, have included streamlined and prioritized spending and expanding non-tax revenue which have allowed the district to develop a robust and engaging instructional program while proposing consistently modest increases to our taxpayers.

To be successful our students need to develop skills that will enable them to collaborate, innovate and initiate. Investment in our staff and students through comprehensive Professional Development and singular focus on Curriculum, Instruction and Literacy provides a rigorous and engaging foundation for the increased opportunities our students have to learn by making and doing in collaboration with their peers. I am proud of the Instructional Leadership in the classroom and the District Office that makes this possible.

Warwick is a town with a distinct tradition for service. Whether it is the Rotary or Lions Club, Little League, PTA or the Arts people give their time to the things that are meaningful to them. Inspired by that example, I have been very fortunate to have served on the board for the past 9 years, and am gratified at the ways in which the district has addressed those challenges that first motivated me to run.

Our district’s fiscal responsibility, our focus on teaching and learning and our rich community partnerships have fueled significant progress and achievements. Nonetheless, we will continue to be challenged by chronic budget shortfalls while at the same time being called on to adapt to a rapidly changing world in order to best prepare our students for their future. I am inspired and energized to continue to be part of this important and meaningful work by our students, families, community and our staff and by a strong belief in the power of public education to shape lives.

Thank you for your consideration on May 15th.

Sharon DavisTwenty years ago, my husband, Jeff, and I decided to move back to Orange County and chose Warwick to raise our family. We continue to be grateful for that decision and for the educational opportunities that have been given to our daughters, Hannah, who will be a senior, and Sarah, who will be a freshman, come September.

Six years ago, when I was asked by some respected colleagues to consider running for the Warwick Board of Education, I thought being a school board member would be an excellent way to give back to my community and contribute toward making my daughters’ school district a little better. Little did I know I would develop a passion for public education, a strong pride in our district, and a desire to maintain an academically strong, well-rounded program for all students in the Warwick Valley Central School District.

Through my board service, I have become more aware of the barrage of mandates and funding issues that distract us from our local mission to provide our students with the necessary skills to thrive in the 21st Century as learners, workers and citizens. I am proud of our nine-member board and our shared commitment to serve our community in meeting this mission. To address the uncertainty over state funding for our schools, I will continue to work with my fellow board members both locally and at the state level.

While I am determined to fight for more funding for Warwick, I also believe that we need to continue to be mindful of the tax burden borne by residents. At the April board meeting we voted to present a budget that continues our trend of providing low tax levy increases. I am proud of the work we accomplish while staying within the mandated tax cap threshold.

While being good stewards of the taxpayer’s money, our district has continued to improve the education we provide. At our most recent Board of Education meeting we approved four new high school classes, Freshman Seminar, 3C–Creative Construction and Craftsmanship, Computer Advertising and Graphic Design, and AP Computer Science. Our district now offers 13 Advanced Placement courses, 17 college level courses and 19 honors courses. I am proud of the Career and Technical programs offered to our high school students either at the BOCES location or on our own campus, including Cosmetology, Criminal Justice and Video Production. We are committed to offering a rigorous and diverse academic program and continue to be recognized for excellence in music, arts, environmental stewardship, and athletics. In addition to these honors and awards, I am grateful for our administration’s commitment to weaving leadership opportunities throughout the curriculum, believing that all students are capable of being leaders.

In the last few years, Warwick Valley Middle School students have experienced rich additions to the middle school curriculum. Our students are preparing for the future with courses like Design & Modeling, Energy and the Environment, Automation & Robotics, and Green Architecture. Our strong academic program coupled with a value for raising students of good character makes Warwick Valley Middle School an excellent environment for learning.

When our elementary students present their engineering designs, play their violins, or explain their science labs, I get excited about their future. Often our Board gets to hear from our youngest students and we see first-hand how a commitment to small class size, libraries in every classroom and programs like Readers and Writers workshop are preparing our Park Avenue and Sanfordville Elementary School students.

Through the years our district has encountered many challenges that demand our focus for periods of time, but I am proud that we continue to meet these challenges while still improving the learning opportunities for our students. If elected, I will strive to improve our strength of schools by working on direction and policy that continue to build on our culture of professional learning and student engagement. We are part of a great community who shares the value of a Warwick education and remains committed to preparing young people to be successful in their future.

Please vote for Sharon Davis on May 15.

Dave EatonMy wife and I have been residents in Warwick for the past 30 years. Both of our daughters grew up in our community and attended the Warwick Valley schools. I am retired, having spent the majority of my career in the medical information field, which included: SONY’s medical electronics division, the Foundation for Informed Medical Decision Making, and BMJ publishing. I fully believe in the concept of lifelong learning and see it is a fundamental goal of public education. It has been a great privilege to have served for 13 years on the Warwick Valley Board of Education

In the 13 years that I have served on the Warwick Valley Central School District Board of Education, there have been many challenges. We have had to deal with both dramatically increasing and declining student populations. The decisions we made have often been difficult. It is always challenging to plan around the never ending, often unfunded, state mandates and requirements.

Throughout these challenges, Warwick has maintained high standards for our students. The boards I have served on have never wavered from our responsibility to provide the best possible education for our children by creating and implementing a strategic plan to accomplish this mission. In addition, we have developed a vision that will take our schools to an even higher standard. Our schools continue to make great strides in creating a 21st Century curriculum that will prepare our students with the learning skills required to succeed.

Our district remains both financially and educationally sound. Many difficult decisions have been made to accomplish this. As a school board member, I remain committed to finding and supporting all measures that contain spending without compromising the high educational standards that the Warwick community expects, deserves and has steadfastly supported. Further, I will continue to seek and support discovering new sources of revenues, whether from State advocacy or more efficient use of our existing resources.

I believe that my perspective, passion, and experience will help us stay this course. In the past thirteen years of school board activity, I have been immersed in public school administration. If re-elected, I will continue to fight for fair school funding, promote efficient school district operation, evaluate fairly and critically the performance of our administration, seek ways to improve student achievement, stay up-to-date on education news and issues, participate in educational training events, serve as an ambassador for local school governance, maintain relationships with key policy makers, find cost savings and operational efficiencies, and, most importantly, listen to our community. Finally, I will support all efforts to make our schools safe and secure. These are all tasks expected of every board member and I pledge to continue to fulfill them.

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