MY TURN By Marc-Anthony Serrano

| 15 Feb 2012 | 08:39

    'I am proud to hail’ from Warwick To: Dr. Ray Bryant, local taxpayers and esteemed members of the Board of Education: Some of you may already know a bit about me. I’ve been a part of the Warwick school system from my very first steps into education. I started off at Kings elementary in kindergarten and proceeded through to middle and high schools as would be expected. I’ve always held very high expectations for myself both in and out of the classroom, and due to my successes, I will be entering the University of Pennsylvania this fall, majoring in both chemistry and biochemistry. None of this would have been even remotely possible if it wasn’t for your hard work each day. It’s obvious to all students and members of the community that the current economic climate is likely the most difficult that the WVCSD has ever seen. I, like many others, see the out of control spending by New York State as a huge problem that is causing fiscal issues throughout the state and in our very own community. While budget cuts and tax hikes are unfortunate, New York’s unfunded mandates have left the community with few options. As a new voting member of the community, I feel a greater sense of responsibility and ability than I have before; all of this is in large part a direct result of an education at Warwick. While these budget cuts and tax hikes are definitely unfortunate and unintended, your ability to come together and produce amazing results in such pressured times goes well beyond each meeting with taxpayers. Your successes keep some of the best teachers I’ve ever had the honor of being taught by, as well as provide extremely receptive and caring guidance staff. The swift, responsive and sensible administration in this district shouldn’t go unnoticed, either. Beyond performing well beyond a normal board’s parameters, each and every one of you (including you, Dr. Bryant) has invented a new part of the job; you lead through action. Just as you expect the students to rise to the occasion, showing leadership, decisiveness and sensitivity in times of need, all of you have done the same. The decisions you’ve had to make this year have been particularly tough - likely the toughest we’ve had to make in decades. Through the Pine Island closure, you’ve shown responsiveness and sensitivity to the issues of the town. While it is unfortunate that much controversy exists within your decisions and much work is still left before us, this is of no fault of the board or Dr. Bryant. I’m proud to hail from a town that has a true people’s board; that is, I feel that each and every one of you is always available to help in any way you can. You are all courageous and upstanding members of society here in Warwick, and I thank you for all you have done. If, for any reason at all, I may be of some assistance to either administration, Dr. Bryant, or the board, please do not hesitate to contact me. I’d love nothing more than to help serve the community as I’ve done throughout my years here.