Polling: Noon to 9 p.m., Tuesday, May 21, at the voting room of Weedsport Junior-Senior High School, 2821 E. Brutus St., Weedsport

Proposed budget: $20,961,362 ... +1.05%

Estimated tax levy: +1.99%

Tax cap: Below cap, simple majority needed for approval

Special ballot propositions: Proposition to collect $81,134 on behalf of the Weedsport Public Library; purchase one passenger bus at a cost not to exceed $125,000

School board candidates (two seats: one five-year term, one one-year term):

Wendy Bannister

Age: 50

Family: Married, two children, ages 12 and 15

Residence: Brutus

Education: Bachelor's degree, University of Phoenix

Elected office and community service experience: Weedsport Library trustee, president

Top three priorities:

1. The continued growth of academic programs. The academic programs are the basis of the curriculum and they need to include all levels of students. We need to ensure that all the students are successful in their academic achievements.

2. The school district needs to be fiscally responsible to the community. Making sure they are utilizing the funds that allow them to keep the forward motion of the goals that have been set.

3. The school district needs to continue its communications with the community. The community needs to be kept informed on the progress of the goals of the district as well as understanding the challenges they face with our ever-changing world.

Why did you decide to run for school board?

My reasons for running start with my passion for learning and it all starts with our schools, which introduce and develop our children's abilities to learn and explore. These kids are the future and we must ensure that they have all the resources available to them to evolve into well-rounded adults. That not only means strong academics but also extracurricular programs (i.e. arts, music, sports, clubs, etc.). I am an alumnus of Weedsport central schools and found that the people were welcoming when I moved here, over 34 years ago. I want to support my community with the knowledge and experience that I have acquired in my career as a manager of information technology. Technology is growing and changing on a daily basis and these advancements can help make it easier for teachers, students, and parents to collaborate together on the progress and direction of our children.

Chad Mitchell

Age: 38

Family: Married; two children, ages 9 and 13

Residence: Brutus

Education: Bachelor's degree, Roberts Wesleyan College; master's degree, Keuka College

Elected office and community service experience: Neighborhood House board of directors, 2010-2012; Weedsport little league board, 2014-present; Northern Cayuga Little League board, 2014-present

Top three priorities:

1. Expanding the universal prekindergarten program to full day. As the research supports, a full-day program will better prepare students for kindergarten and beyond.

2. Ensuring teachers have the technology they need in the classroom for students to be successful. Anyone who has spent time in schools knows that Weedsport lags behind other districts when it comes to technology in the classroom, especially in the Elementary school. Technology is rapidly changing and evolving, and we need to adapt and evolve right along with our technological advances so that our students are college and/or career ready upon graduation.

3. Increasing NY state assessment scores in math and English language arts in grades 3-8. I support the districts move to a kindergarten to eight grade reading program in an effort to increase test scores as scores have been stagnant with use of the common core modules.

Why did you decide to run for school board?

I decided to run for the school board because I want to ensure that Weedsport central schools continues to meet the needs of its students by maintaining small class sizes and providing top notch programs. My wife and I moved to Weedsport nine years ago because of the reputation of the school district. We wanted our children to go to a small school where they would have small class sizes with individualized attention. We also appreciated the top notch fine arts department as our oldest, even at a young age expressed a lot of interest in all things music. I want to ensure that Weedsport continues to be a school district that families want to move into. In addition, I have heard from a number of parents in Weedsport and other districts about how difficult and time consuming the process is to obtain special education services. I understand that some of the time constraints are outlined in state education law; However, if elected I will work with the staff and administration to identify areas where the process can and should be expedited.

Linda Simmons

Family: Four children 

Residence: Village of Weedsport, town of Brutus

Education: Cayuga Community College for two years

Top three priorities:

1. Maintaining and improving student learning to meet the needs of our changing world.

2. Meeting the needs of all students.

3. Keeping an open line of communication between the school district and the community.

Why did you decide to run for school board?

I grew up in this community, raised four children in the district, and will have three grandchildren attending school in the fall of 2019. I worked for the school district for over 20years. I had served as the district clerk for many years. As district clerk, I prepared board agendas, board packets, and recorded minutes. My vast knowledge of the board policies, board procedures, school expenditures, staff, students and the community will prove beneficial as a member of the board. I have seen the dedication and hard work it takes to be a board member and would like to give back to my community and the school district.

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