Endorsements: Dremel, Impastato, Dryden for Batavia Dist. 101
Of the eight people seeking one of three seats on the Batavia School District 101 Board Of Education, not a single one said they were running merely because they want to "give back to the community." They all felt strongly about their convictions and their desire to help improve what is regarded as a strong district.
Incumbents Cathy Dremel and Melanie Impastato are joined by John Dryden, Christopher Lowe, Ellen Knautz and the GROBatavia slate of Bill Gabriel, Ron Rechenmacher and Michelle Olache. Three winners will serve 4-year terms.
The current board, led by Dremel, has done a fine job of sticking to its word and listening to the voters via referendum -- such as the "no" vote in the November advisory referendum for $15 million for school improvements, including new athletic fields. This is also one of the first area school boards to tie pay increases for teachers and support staff to the Consumer Price Index rate. Like every other district, it has to deal with the uncertainties of state funding and the possible added burden of the state unloading more of the pension obligations onto local districts.
Who better to negotiate that quagmire than those most familiar with all that will entail? Dremel has the smarts and the respect of other board members in her first stint on the board, and Impastato asks good questions at meetings and has the financial background to deal with difficult decisions.
Dryden, who recently retired as a social studies teacher after 21 years, is no fan of Common core. He said he retired, specifically, so he can run for a board seat. He also said a way to save money is to shrink the administration payroll by 30 percent.
Among the challengers came some complaints that the current board is not representing the taxpayers, but we couldn't disagree more. Dremel, Impastato and Dryden are endorsed.