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West Seneca School Board candidates

Four people are seeking three seats on the West Seneca School Board: Janice E. Dalbo, Robbin D. List,
Rodney Montgomery and Brendon Najm.

All were invited to tell distrct residents why they are worthy of their vote.

1. JANICE E. DALBO

Dalbo 

Serving on the West Seneca Board of Education as a trustee is a real privilege. I take seriously the term "trustee" because it reflects the trust the community gives me as one of the policy makers for our educational system.  When I started my journey as a board member 23 years ago I said I was committed to the Children, the Curriculum and the Community.  In an ever-changing environment immersed with advances in technology and threats of financial crises, that focus remains.

I feel it is important to continue our outstanding educational opportunities for all students; to continue to be proactive with technology to prepare students for their futures; and to continue our record of fiscal responsibility and fairness to our taxpayers.  It is important that we not only remember our "Proud Past" but we dedicate our efforts to our "Unlimited Future" - the children and youth of our town.

I have both Bachelors and Masters Degrees in education and have had a life-long career as an educator.  I am married to Rev. Tom Dalbo, Pastor of the Winchester Community Church.  Our four children are products of West Seneca Schools.  I also serve on the Executive Board of Youth Court, am Vice President of the Historical Society, and direct the Children's Ministries at the church.  For many years I have served on the Erie County School Boards' Legislative Committee and I visit the Legislature in Albany on behalf of our West Seneca Schools.  Along with our staff and fellow board members we have been able to keep stability in our district during very turbulent times.  Our district was a contributing factor to the recent recognition West Seneca received as "the best place in New York State to raise kids."

2. ROBBIN D. LIST

List 

I have a strong history of community involvement with our school district, in that I served as a trustee and Board President in the late '80s and early '90s. This year I was appointed  to complete an unexpired term of a board member who had resigned. 

My wife, Eileen and I  are  now retired and have three children who are all graduates of  the school district. I also have two grandchildren with another one on the way. I am a graduate of the State University College of New York at Buffalo, holding a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree. I have been a West Seneca property owner and taxpayer for over thirty years.

My passionate goal in seeking this position on the board is to  ensure that our students  remain competitive for the rigors of  living in a global society which can only  be accomplished with outstanding staff, fiscally responsible funding,  a solid infrastructure, and strong community support. I have and will continue to serve the community by keeping our student’s  needs and aspirations in the forefront when making decisions about our school system.   

Our board  is  ever mindful of the constantly increasing costs of educating our young people with ever decreasing revenue from the state.

I have always recognized the importance of community service and have a strong desire to “give back” to our community of  West Seneca. I possess the knowledge, experience, time commitment, and desire to fulfill these obligations to our students and community.

I would hope to build upon the high performance of our school district which our parents have come to expect,  our students deserve, and our community supports.

The efforts of our Board this year have ranked us near the top in performance while out of 28 districts in Erie County we rank 19th in spending per pupil, 20th in taxes raised per pupil and 15th in district tax rates.   

I am proud of our school district and will continue to be an advocate for ALL children of the district.    I am hopeful the community will support me in this bid for election.

3. RODNEY MONTGOMERY

Montgomery 

I have been married to my wife, Mary, for 20 years. We have two sons. Rodney is a sophomore at UB.  Matthew is a graduating senior at West Seneca West and culinary student through BOCES. A lifelong resident of West Seneca, I graduated from West Seneca East High School and have an Associates Degree in Liberal Arts / Social Science from Erie Community College. My Bachelors degree in Legal Studies is from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

I have been employed by Paralegal Services of Buffalo since August 1987 and currently hold the position of vice-president.

I am asking for your vote to help provide our school district with innovative new ideas while keeping our school taxes affordable. With my education and business experience, I can make the hard decisions, that our schools need, to be competitive in today’s economic tough times. I will be an activist for the best education that can be provided for our students, while monitoring every dollar spent.

West Seneca Schools have afforded me the opportunity to succeed. I would like to help give all of our children a better opportunity to succeed in today’s ever changing world.

4. BRENDON NAJM

Najm 

I am Brendon Najm, a candidate for the West Seneca Board of Education. Despite my age, I believe I am more than capable of representing my community and serving them better than any other candidate. My experiences thus far in life and core values make me qualified to take on this public service.

To begin, I am a graduate of West Seneca East Senior from 2010. I graduated with a Regents Diploma with Advanced Designation and Honors. During my high school career I was able to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America in a troop that meets out of Northwood Elementary. Now, my college career is beginning at Canisius College, where I study Political Science, Urban Studies, and Communications. I am hoping to have a lasting political career and believe a foundation in the West Seneca Central School District is an ideal place to demonstrate my character, beliefs, and competence.

I believe my young age can help the Board of Education. I bring a youthful perspective from somebody who recently came out of their system. I have witnessed first-hand what goes on in the district. I also felt the impact of every decision made by district management. I feel in-tune with the students and parents of today as they build for a brighter tomorrow. My participation in a multitude of programs and educational opportunities (including Advanced Placement) makes me rather valuable.

I am striving to be a fiscally responsible candidate. I hope to give students, parents, and others in the community the most bang for their buck when it comes to their tax dollars and the education provided. I am hoping that taxes can be capped so they don’t continue to rise as they have consistently in years past. I am well aware of budget cuts by the state that push this goal further from reality, but I’m still optimistic it is something we can accomplish with hard work and perseverance. One can do this by carefully breaking down the budget and determining the importance of each aspect. In these tough economic times, when just about everybody is making sacrifices, it is up to us to be as efficient as we can be.

When saying this, I don’t want to give the impression that I’ll be wielding the big, ugly ax and taking it to everything the students and parents hold dear. For example, I am a supporter of arts education within the district. As a product of the music program at East Senior, I believe that arts education develops students in ways other disciplines don’t as well as taking their core classes and applying it to something real, like producing music and artwork. The production of music and art applies history, science, math, and many other skills we know to be important in a well-rounded student.

Responsibility is extremely crucial when the foundation of the next generation is in your hands. I cannot assure voters enough that I will take this opportunity very seriously and give the community my best. I want to be held to the highest of standards. I also want the West Seneca Central School District to be a shining example to all others in the state. I would like all voters in the upcoming election to consider me worthy of their vote. Their voices will speak loud and clear on election day.

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee | djgee@buffnews.com


Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes | tlankes@buffnews.com


Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone | stan@buffnews.com


Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB | dswilliams@buffnews.com

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