Dear Editor,

 I’m running for a seat on the Shen Board of Education because I believe my leadership and experience will both support our current school board district's initiatives and the following areas where I believe more work is needed:

-         Provide more training opportunities for our teachers and school staff so that they can work in an environment technologically advanced to create a better experience to benefit student education.

-        Offer a Full Day Kindergarten program. I believe this is key in making a better future for our school system. 

-        As global markets are changing quickly, we need to prepare students with new skills. We should use the available technologies in our school system to improve the quality of our education. Review existing reading, writing, computer and mathematics skill courses for high school students to achieve better College readiness.

-        Recognizing that the safety and security of our schools is important to many parents, I believe we should have an ongoing open forum for our voters to voice their opinion and school safety concerns, together with the support of our parents, the board and school district can take necessary initiatives to review and improve our school safety environment.

-    Rebalancing enrollment or redistricting can help with crowded classrooms and could position the district to determine what is needed to move to full day kindergarten. As a board member, I would like to work through these issues and budget numbers to make recommendations.

-     I would just state turnout for school votes has been very low and can be improved through two methods. 1) Multiple polling places such as Chango,Okte, Shatekon and the Town of Halfmoon can choose a location 2) Early voting. where people can vote over multiple days. These initiatives will make it more convenient for people to vote and will increase participation.

 I have a proven history of leadership. I was elected President of the Tricity India Association, a leading Indian community organization for 2016 & 2017; served as Board Member of Albany Hindu Cultural Center; and an active Board Member of Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA) Albany Chapter since 2016. In these leadership roles I have worked with state and local elected officials to help the community as well as with the non-profits such as the YMCA and Red Cross on community services. I have professional work experience as a New York State IT Consultant for the past 18 years.

 As a father of two children, I am involved in school programs and have volunteered in classroom and the community. I have been a resident of the Shenendehowa School District since 2005. My children attend Shenendehowa High School and Koda Middle School.

 I bring my wealth of experience in information technology. My creativity, collaborative spirit, passion and commitment for public education will enable me to be an effective School Board member.

Please consider me (Ram Lalukota) for the Shenendehowa Board of Education on May 21, 2019.

Thank you,                                                                                                Ram Lalukota                                                                                                                                           

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