Niagara Gazette


March 31, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Falls school board candidate offers education experience


Niagara Gazette — Half-way through my 13th year in the NFCSD, I left to become the Director of Student Services for the North Tonawanda City School District. In my current position, I act as the District’s Committee on Pre-School Special Education Chairperson, Section 504 Compliance Officer, Attendance Officer, Civil Rights Officer, Title IX Officer, Complaint Officer, Residency Officer, HIPAA Officer, FERPA Officer, Dignity for All Students Act Coordinator, Grant Coordinator, English as a Second Language Coordinator, Home Instruction Coordinator, McKinney-Vento Liaison, and Alternative High School Administrator among many other duties. I also oversee school counselors and nurses, as well as social workers, speech therapists, remedial teachers, and school psychologist along with the Director of Special Education.

I am happy to say that I received my tenure at this position this past January. With this security and my family’s support, I decided to run for one of the two open board member seats. Our family highly values a quality education and educators. I am a 40-year-old father of one son, Ryan, who attends GJ Mann and husband to Christine Barstys - a highly talented, respected, and often requested English teacher at Niagara Falls High School. She, too, has been in education her whole life, has been teaching for 15 years, is tenured, and a past Channel 2 News and New York State Lottery Educator of the Week. I mention this because as an administrator, I often look to my family to provide realistic and practical feedback for new programs, educational strategies and technologies.

As a board member, I will no doubt be an asset to those already serving. For instance, I am trained as both a teacher and principal evaluator in the new evaluation system. I can be instrumental when the district’s administration is asking the board to consider how a teacher’s APPR is affected by his/her SLO with State Provided Growth Measures versus a teacher without an SLO, but instead, Value-Added Growth Measures, and their effectiveness in implementing the new CCSS in getting their students ready for the PARCC. Despite the confusing jargon and endless stream of acronyms, I’ll know exactly what they are talking about and will be ready to assist the rest of the board in discerning which teacher is the better of the two, and therefore, who is best to suited to increase student achievement for (potentially) the next 30-plus years.

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