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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Rochester Commissioner Of Schools {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Rochester Board of Education is a seven-member board elected by the citizens of Rochester to direct and oversee the operations of the school district. Board Commissioners serve four-year terms. Among the duties of the Board of Education are the following: -Setting the strategic direction of the district through policy development and adoption;-Appointing the Superintendent of Schools;-Promoting an alliance of teachers, administrators, students, parents, citizens, government, and community resources;-Working to secure adequate resources for maximizing student learning;-Ensuring the wise use of community educational assets and resources;-Serving on Board committees addressing the areas of Board Governance & Development, Community & Intergovernmental Relations, Finance & Resource allocation, Policy Development & Review, and Excellence in Student Achievement;-Representing the best interests of the citizens of Rochester through effective leadership.-In addition, Board members serve as liaisons to specific schools. The Board liaisons visit their assigned schools periodically and serve as advocates to the full Board on behalf of those schools.
  • Cynthia A. Elliott (Dem) Assistant Executive Director

  • Beatriz B. Lebron (WF, Ind)

  • Candidate picture

    Natalie Sheppard (Dem, WF, WE) Adjunct Professor and Social Worker

  • Van Henri White (Dem, WF)

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Biographical Information

What new ideas might you propose to improve the quality of education in the city schools?

What is your understanding of the role of the School Board in relation to the School Administration, the parents and the community at large?

Campaign Phone (585) 506-9729
More African American teachers and principals who are culturally competent will help a student population who are primarily African American to navigate an educational systems that seems not to educate African American students toward graduation and who are career and college ready. Additionally, I will become a strong advocate for literacy among primary students since learning to read at grade level specifically third grade determines student success throughout their academic career. I will advocate for opportunities to teach our students about entrepreneurship since there will be many product creations in the future; I want our students to pursue business ownership in which they can create the jobs to hire people from their community. I will continue to advocate for a 100% graduation rate of students who will be career and college ready to compete in a global marketplace.
The School Board is a policymaking body who employs the Superintendent and provide financial oversight which includes approving the budget, approving expenditures. The board also approves the hiring, granting of tenure and approves the recommendation for additional pay. The board also advocates for parents and students and engages with the community on issues of education.
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Campaign Phone (585) 310-4629
Profession Social Worker and Educator
I think it is extremely important to allow kids to enjoy their childhood and have freedoms to participate in extra curricular activities after normal school hours. So, I would propose having in-school general education tutors that provides students a time block within their daily school schedule that is dedicated to one-on-one assistance if they need extra help in a subject. This will be a way to help minimize the over-diagnosing of students to special and to assist families who do not have the financial means to pay for private tutoring. During this block of tutoring time, if there are students who do not need extra support they should have community volunteer opportunities to take advantage of. This is just one of many strategies I would propose to improve the quality of education in City Schools.
For me, the School Board Commissioner position is a position of direct service. That includes building relationships with students, families, and community members at large. I believe that the Commissioner needs to work very closely with the administrations of their assigned schools to make sure that the day to day operations are promoting excellence in learning and service. This way the Commissioner will know what resources are needed or need to continue. The Commissioner's role is also to promote and build relationships with parents and caregivers because there is a shared responsibility to assist with our youth being productive members of our community. That is why it is crucial for the Commissioner to build relationships with the community at large so every opportunity and resource that is available for our students is taken advantage of. Our district plays a major role in partnering with our community to help build a sense of pride amongst our students within our neighborhoods.
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