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I am writing to announce my intent to run for re-election to the Port Chester-Rye UFSD Board of Education. In the past three years, our district has faced some particularly demanding challenges. National, state and local pressures have pushed us to critically transform the way our school district operates. I feel privileged to have helped led the decision-making that has enabled our district to successfully navigate through this time of change.
In three years, I have gained a keen understanding of the roles and responsibilities of a school board member. I have engaged in the recruitment and hiring of a new superintendent of schools, the development and passage of two successful school budgets, the implementation of the new NYS Annual Professional Performance Review for teachers and administrators, and the development of this years budget within the limits of the new state-imposed tax levy cap. Our five-member school board has worked as a team to build consensus, earn the trust of the community, and operate in a transparent and open way to make decisions that benefit our children and youth.
In my current role as President of the Board of Education and throughout my term, I have prioritized the following:
1. Heightened Focus on Academic Growth: reinstated Board of Educations Curriculum Committee, oversaw the adoption of the Math in Focus Program district-wide, oversaw the implementation of Response to Intervention (RTI) program, and integrated Director of Curriculum position district-wide.
2. Improved Communications, District-Wide: reached out to all entities in our community, led Communications Advisory Committee, reinstated district-wide PTA/PTO Council, established E-Spotlight (an electronic district-wide newsletter), added advocacy/budget page to district website, and strengthened ongoing dialogue with local municipalities and neighboring school districts.
3. Effective Succession Planning Process: developed structured hiring processes for district superintendent, building principals, and program administrators.
4. Increased Advocacy Efforts: advocated for unfunded mandate relief, campaigned for additional state aid for our school district, spoke on the impacts of additional local residential development to our district, participated in and contributed school district information to Port Chesters Comprehensive Plan.
5. Held the Line on Taxes: developed three budgets with low tax increases, garnered notable savings through retirement incentives, and successfully negotiated with district unions to achieve savings in salary and health care expenses.
Tough times require strong leadership. I am proud of my leadership record and the work this board has accomplished in the past three years. I fully understand and commit to the responsibility required of the role of a school board member. And I respectfully ask for your support as I seek another term on the Board of Education.
Blanca P. Lopez
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