LEWISBORO, N.Y. – Mark Lipton is 49 years old and has lived in the Katonah-Lewisboro School District for ten years. His daughter, Miranda, 15, is a freshman at John Jay High School. He is a professional business owner, specializing in paint sales.
What would you bring to the Board, based upon your life experience as a parent or community member, or in your occupation or profession?
After having served for six years on the BOE and having spent three of those years in Board leadership, I think what I bring most to the community at this point is experience. The next three years will bring some very important and complicated issues to the KLSD: school utilization and three union contracts, just to name some big ones. I hope that the community sees the value of having a Board Trustee who already understands the problems in full detail and knows the systems and processes well enough to bring good solutions.
Considering the current budgetary limitations, what should the Board’s main priorities be?
We need to maintain our focus on the students and offer them the best and most comprehensive education we can afford as a community. Saving money where we can through contract negotiations and school utilization will offer us, I hope, an excellent opportunity to bring improvements to what we offer our students. Foreign language for elementary students, a more enriching second-half senior year at JJHS and full day kindergarten are programs I'd like to see explored.
What special challenges are there in the Katonah-Lewisboro Central School District and how would you address them?
I think that we face many of the same challenges that districts state-wide are facing: unfunded mandates, a tax cap, rapid changes in the classroom due to Common Core and others. The challenges are not unique to the KLSD, but our solutions must be unique if we are going to continue to see our students accomplish what we have become used to. On the financial front, which is most pressing and the one where a Board can have the greatest impact, we must get our school configuration more efficient and and get our finances sustainable through collective bargaining.
Is there any particular project or program you’d like to see introduced to the educational system?
See question 2. We MUST bring full day kindergarten to our students, we cannot put it off much longer because of changes from the Common Core. Foreign language for our elementary students is not a luxury in my view and we must help our seniors get more from their second semester at JJHS.
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