Lauren Plescia: Candidate Profile
Big Hollow District 38 School Board
Note: Answers provided have not been edited for grammar, misspellings or typos. In some instances, candidate claims that could not be immediately verified have been omitted.
Website: Candidate did not respond.
Twitter: Candidate did not respond.
Facebook: Candidate did not respond.
Family: I have been married to my husband, Christopher, for 10 years and we have three school aged children.
Occupation: Stay at Home Parent
Education: B.A. in History and American Studies from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois.
M.S. in Natural Resource Management and Administration from Antioch University New England in Keene, New Hampshire.
Civic involvement: I volunteer at Big Hollow School in my children's classroom and am a member of the Citizen's Advisory Council.
Elected offices held: Candidate did not respond.
Why are you running for this office, whether for re-election or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you, and if so, what is it?
This is the first time I am running for Big Hollow School Board. I, in addition to many of my neighbors and friends, have young children embarking on their educational journey at Big Hollow. I would like to be an advocate for my children and their peers to in order to ensure they are receiving the best education that Big Hollow can offer.
What do you think about the process for measuring student success in your district? Is it adequate? What changes, if any, do you propose?
While I do believe there are instances whereby students are experiencing testing fatigue, I understand that these assessments, specifically the PARCC assessment, are state mandated and therefore tied directly to school funding. While this form of assessment provides us with an overall snapshot of student growth, it doesn't necessarily lend insight as to how our students are growing throughout the year. Formative and summative assessments, the collection of observational data and the ongoing monitoring of student growth throughout benchmarking is essential, as it provides teachers and administrators with data that should be used to make informed instructional and curricular decisions that will best support individual student learning.
How big a role do you think the board of education should play in setting the curriculum for students and what ideas do you have for changes to the current curriculum?
Wherein the Board of Education is responsible for establishing and implementing district policies, the administration, in collaboration with the teaching staff, should be responsible for setting the District's curriculum in keeping with all state and federal directives. While the district's curriculum is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, the means by which teachers are implementing the curriculum allows for instructor autonomy and creativity in lesson delivery. Increased exposure to problem-based learning, project and community focused lessons activities and the continued development of STEM lessons and units are essential to the 21st Century Learning needs of our students as we prepare them to be global citizens.
What budget issues will your district have to confront and what measures do you support to address them? If you believe cuts are necessary, what programs and expenses should be reduced or eliminated? On the income side, do you support any tax or fee increases?
I support and approve of the measures the current BOE is taking to shore up the District's budget challenges. I do not believe that cuts or a reduction of programs are necessary at this time and I fully support the district utilizing outside groups as a way to provide additional after-school programming.
What role can and should school choice play in your district? If Congress or the state approves a voucher system or other means giving students broader choices among public and private schools, how will that affect your district? What is the appropriate response for the board of education of a public school system?
Big Hollow School District is comprised of the six communities within its boundaries. If there was a voucher system and parents chose to send their children to alternative schools, Big Hollow would lose funding, as well as a diverse and valued part of the community. The Board of Education should work with and support the administration to provide the best education to its students.
What other issues, if any, are important to you as a candidate for this office?
Research indicates that teachers are the most important predictors of student growth and achievement. As such, it is imperative that we as a district are providing our teachers with the materials, knowledge, support and professional development needed to help them stay abreast of changes in the educational landscape in order to best meet the needs of all students.
Please name one current leader who most inspires you.
Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg serves as an example as to how women can balance personal and professional ambitions to while fighting gender equality.
What is the biggest lesson you learned at home growing up?
The lesson instilled in me and my siblings is that grit and perserverance are essential attributes to being successfull in any endeavor.
If life gave you one do-over, what would you spend it on?
Life's experiences are the foundation for who we become as individuals. Therefore, I would not choose to alter any events or experiences.
What was your favorite subject in school and how did it help you in later life?
The study of government helped instill a passion for human equality, social activism and democratic collaboration for the betterment and advancement of society.
If you could give your children only one piece of advice, what would it be?
I encourage my children to find and cultivate their authentic selves, embrace who they are as individuals and respect others for who they are.