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Letter to the Editor

Return School Board President Orestano-James for another term

Gully Stanford
Posted 5/17/22

Salt Point

Member NY Regents Blue Ribbon Commission on Arts

Pathways to Graduation

To the editor:

As has been mentioned elsewhere in your columns, 2022 is a critical year for school board …

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Letter to the Editor

Return School Board President Orestano-James for another term

Posted

Salt Point

Member NY Regents Blue Ribbon Commission on Arts

Pathways to Graduation

To the editor:

As has been mentioned elsewhere in your columns, 2022 is a critical year for school board elections. Not only do our students have vital needs rooted in the pandemic experience, it is an era of seismic change in the role and challenges facing public education. The world is changing too fast for traditional systems to keep up - even the New York Regents are embracing the urgent need to adapt our expectations, our policies, and our systems.

For all those reasons, as a respectful and collegial neighbor (from Dutchess County), I’m writing to urge the Monticello electorate to return School Board President Lori Orestano-James for another term.

My personal admiration for Lori is rooted in her extraordinary service to statewide arts education, including her exemplary management of the arts in Wappingers Schools before her retirement, her leadership of the Regents’ Blue Ribbon Commission on Arts Pathways to Graduation, and her ongoing presidency of the New York State Alliance for Arts Education.

Distressing as it may be to read about electoral turbulence in today’s issue of the Democrat, Monticello is not alone in experiencing heightened tensions and disagreements this season - brushfires of dissent are flickering all over the Mid-Hudson - now is not the time to let personal animosities distract school boards from their primary role of providing for sustained, sober, and responsible delivery of fair and equitable educational services to all students.

To quote a seasoned school board veteran, “The prime directive of school leadership is that, as board members and superintendents, we are the grown-ups in this family and it is our job to show how thoughtful, responsible adults can work together to solve problems”.

I believe that Lori has successfully modeled that level of positive leadership, and I urge Monticello voters to support her on Tuesday.

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