School Board Candidate Questions: John Cima, Pembroke
The Batavian emailed candidate questions to all 17 candidates in Genesee County's eight school districts that are holding elections on Tuesday. Only four returned completed questionnaires.
This is the response from John Cima, the candidate lone in the Pembroke Central School District.
1. What is your position on your school district’s proposed budget for 2018-19? What parts do you support? What parts would you change if you could?
The Board voted unanimously to approve the proposed budget and we collectively support every part of it. We have had many discussions during the school year where we analyze budget items as a corporate body and made decisions based on that data. All board members are heard and we talk through any sticking points and concerns to reach consensus as a group. The proposed budget being presented to voters is one that all board members support without reservation.
2. Are teachers in your district compensated adequately?
Collectively, I believe if you ask our teachers, they will tell you that Pembroke is a special place to work! As long as I have been serving on the Board we have looked at the District as a school district of opportunity for both students and staff. Being a rural school district we sometimes find ourselves having to do more with fewer resources than wealthier districts. Our teachers have risen to the occasion with creativity and a strong resolve. Our Board, I believe has done the same. While our teachers are not compensated as much as our neighbors in Erie County, we have worked hard to offer competitive salaries, and we are extremely pleased with the academic and extra-curricular achievements they have accomplished with our students.
3. Parents are more nervous than ever about school safety. Is your district’s communication to parents about school safety policies and procedures adequate? Should parents and the community be informed when a student makes a threat of violence against the school?
Safety and security are paramount and communication to parents is ongoing. When threats of violence occur, our school officials work closely with local law enforcement to determine the best course of action, including communications to parents, on a case-by-case basis depending on the circumstances.
4. Are you satisfied that your district responds to parents’ complaints and concerns in a way that ensures the parents know they have been heard?
Yes. I hope that parents trust in the policies the Board has put in place to ensure open lines of communication when they have a complaint or concern. Sometimes parents are just looking for direction. I believe our Board has developed a policy that allows for open and honest dialog along with a proper chain of command. In most cases, this has led to the de-escalation of situations and rational solutions being agreed upon by all parties.
5. What two books published since The Enlightenment have influenced you the most?
I have read a lot of books and it would be too difficult to choose which two have influenced me the most. However, if you were to ask me why I wish to continue serving on the Pembroke Board of Education I will tell you that I have been influenced by a school district and community that is open to exploring OPPORTUNITY. Our students deserve the best that we can provide when it comes to their respective educations. Our role as a school board is to set policy that ensures that this happens in the most cost-effective, efficient, resourceful, and creative way as possible.