On May 21, Rye residents will cast their votes on the proposed $76.6 million Rye City School District 2013-2014 budget and will elect two school board members. Three are vying for two open seats on the Board of Education. Board member Kendall Egan is not running again and Nicole Weber and Robert Zahm are running for her seat. Incumbent Katy Keohane Glassberg's term is up this year and she is running for re-election.
Rye Patch asked each of this year's candidates the following questions. Read candidate Nicole Weber's answers below.
All candidates submitted their answers by May 1 and none saw each other's responses before submitting their own. For voting information click here.
- Why are you running for Rye school board?
I am inspired by the level of commitment the residents of Rye have to our town and have been searching for a way to actively serve. I am running for the Rye City School Board because I am passionate about preserving the premier educational programs in Rye in a fiscally responsible manner, and I feel that my skill set would allow me to add value in this capacity to the board.
- Why should district residents elect you to the school board?
I am committed to public service in the educational sector and am a hard worker who will dedicate myself to the job. My background and skill set are particularly well suited for the challenges we face, and I will focus on collaborative leadership to work towards decisions that are best for the students and the community.
- Do you have-- or have you had-- children who attend/attended Rye schools?
I have a son in second grade at Midland Elementary School as well as a son in Nursery School.
- What experience-- either personal or professional-- do you have that makes you a strong candidate to serve on the Rye Board of Education?
Over the past 15 years, I have worked both as a financial analyst and human resources manager at large global organizations such as Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, Merrill Lynch and Bloomberg. In these roles, I have partnered with business leaders to optimize resources through times of growth, reorganization and restructuring. My focus has been to identify and preserve what an organization values most and to foster collaborative leadership. I hold my B.A. in Political Science from Trinity College and earned my MBA from Cornell University.
- What do you consider the three top concerns in the district?
Escalating costs coupled with budget constraints
Building and Facilities
Implementation of mandates such as APPR (the new teacher evaluation system) and the Common Core curriculum
- What is your tentative plan to address these issues?
The board has worked very hard to find efficiencies and keep cost cuts away from the classroom. Given the pressures on the budget, it will be necessary to continue to find sustainable reductions to manage costs. I look forward to participating in the board’s efforts to address these budgetary challenges. The coming year will also represent a time of transition and new opportunities as the High School breaks ground for its new addition and we continue to oversee the adaptation of APPR, the new teacher evaluation system, and the Common Core curriculum.
- How do you think the mandated 2-percent tax cap will impact the future of education?
Increasing pension costs and unfunded mandates coupled with the tax cap make it increasingly difficult for the district to fund programs and services that are essential to a high quality public education.
- What is your opinion of the proposed 2013-2014 budget and the impact of the cap on the tax levy?
I am supportive of the budget and think the board has worked very hard to adopt a tax compliant budget.
- What organizations/groups do you belong to?
- Midland Elementary School parent organization active volunteer, class parent, co-chair After School Clubs Committee
- Rye Presbyterian Nursery School parent organization active volunteer, class parent
- Rye Arts Center – Docent, Famous Artists Program
- Rye Nature Center
- Is there anything we haven't asked you about that you would like the public to know about you or your candidacy?
I have been a regular attendee at the board meetings, I have met with Dr. Alvarez, the Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. Ryan, the Assistant Superintendent for Business, Dr. Evangelist, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, met individually with all the current members of the Board of Education as well as several former members of the Board of Education, met with the leadership of all five parent organizations as well as SEPTA. These meetings have given me the opportunity to understand a range of perspectives regarding the district’s strengths as well as the challenges that we face.
Your vote counts! Please vote Tuesday, May 21st, 7am-9pm, Rye Middle School Gymnasium.