GREENBURGH, N.Y. — School board elections are less than a week away, and we're preparing by asking the candidates questions about the issues, what they hope to accomplish and why residents should vote for them.
Here is what Greenburgh Central School District 7 candidate Amy Huang had to say.
Tell us about yourself:
Age: Old enough to have had a 15-year career in science and two kids. Occupation: Stay-at-home mom. Married. Seven years in Greenburgh community.
What qualifies you to be a school board member?
I was on the Early Childhood Program (ECP) PTA executive board as VP, and I am currently the PTA president at Lee F. Jackson. As LFJPTA board president, I conduct biweekly PTA meetings. LFJPTA supports almost all of the school events, and we have busy calendars; even during the week, executive board members are always at school volunteering. I actively participate in many community programs that serve children. I am a member of the Greenburgh Community Garden at “The Farm,” where last year I volunteered every other week to teach my daughter’s class about gardening. I attend both of my daughters’ swimming activities at the Theodore Young Community Center, including lessons and a few swim meets. In the summer, we swim at AF Veteran. I attend many children’s events at Greenburgh Public Library.
In the past, I have volunteered with American Red Cross and taught CPR and first aid classes, and in Virginia, I became a certified DSHR (Disaster Service Human Resources) on the Red Cross Volunteer Disaster Team, where I helped families recover after a fire burned out their home or have experienced other natural disasters like hurricanes.
What would you like to accomplish if elected?
Three major goals:
1. Increase student achievement on standardized tests, which, while not representative of the whole child, is still a factor in how our district’s children will be assessed, including by parents and colleges, and I believe our test scores do not reflect our children's academic abilities.
2. Connect our schools. Our children go through four schools, from pre-K to 6th grade, and it is really hard on the children and parents when every year or two they have to readjust to a new school.
3. Increase parent participation. One way to reach out to the public would be getting Channel 77 to work on Cablevision to broadcast Board of Education meetings and provide a forum for parents.
If something had to be cut from the budget to meet the state tax cap, what would you cut?
While I intend to work with the board to cut the budget where necessary, it is premature to comment on exactly what I would cut. I would look forward to the opportunity to pore over the budget and discuss it with my colleagues on the board to develop an appropriate spending plan.
What are the three biggest issues facing the schools today?
1. Low standardized test scores for grades 3-8 on ELA and math tests, low SAT and Regents scores for high school.
2. Disconnect between the six schools in GC7.
If elected what would you do about them?
If elected I would like to start a dialogue of GC7 central administration regarding the problem, ask the administration to come up with the possible causes and potential solutions that the board could then assess. I will ask that we develop a strategic plan to challenge the bright children and provide sufficient help for children in need of extra support. We have small class sizes in all of our grades, and we need to capitalize on that luxury to ensure that we can educate our children. If the education is good, and the curriculum is well-executed, then the test scores should reflect that learning and take care of themselves.
I would also like to start discussions and consult with firms regarding setting up a PK-5/6 school. I look forward to investigating funding sources for this.