Utica school board candidates discuss education at community forum

Voters in the Utica City School District had a chance to meet the candidates running for the Utica school board race.

Posted: May 8, 2019 12:15 AM

UTICA, N.Y. - Voters in the Utica City School District had a chance to meet the candidates running for the Utica school board race.

A forum was held at the Veteran's Outreach Center in downtown Utica to give the four candidates an opportunity to speak about their candidacy and for community members to ask specific questions.

The four candidates running for the Utica school board from are Robert Cardillo, William True, Braedon Nanna, and James Paul.

Robert Cardillo says some of his priorities include improving overall student performance and academic achievement, increasing access to quality education programs, and enhancing school security and safety.

Braedon Nanna's priorities are decreasing class sizes, updating text books, and increasing funding for classroom supplies as well as extracurricular activities.

James Paul says he will prioritize the needs of students, ensure greater transparency in the decision-making process, and create a healthier and more positive school climate.

William True, a Utica native, has promised a safe and orderly school environment for all students.

Many questions were asked by community members on a variety of topics including transparency, teahcer diversity, and the school boards involvement in the district.

Andy Zygmunt, a community member, attended the community forum to get to know more about the candidates.

"Well I feel that the candidates did give us some information but often were not answering the questions so in that regard I think I was a little bit disappointed," Zygmunt said.

All four candidates agree on many topics discussed, such as transparency.

"I think there are several major issues that the board has to deal with," Zygmunt said. "The first is transparency, we really don't know whats happening with the board."

The candidates also agreed that the school district needs more teacher diversity.

"A huge issue, and James Paul made a point of this, is teacher diversity," Zygmunt said. "We have no teacher diversity, we've got an extremely diverse student population and they need to see teachers that look like them."

A lot of questions were raised about the involvement of each candidate in the community and the school district. Each candidate said they will be be involved and advocate for students in the district.

"The school board, or at least the perception of the school board presently is that they aren't involved, that they're not activley working for the students," Zygmunt said. "They need to be advocates for the school distirct and so I think parents want to see more involvement from the school board."

The candidates will participate in debate at the Oneida County History Center on Thursday, May 9.

The school board election is on May 21.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2136032

Reported Deaths: 53813
CountyCasesDeaths
Kings28550710509
Queens28088910015
Suffolk2030273409
Nassau1858663184
Bronx1857776597
New York1413674524
Westchester1307522295
Erie901851814
Richmond766061850
Monroe695991117
Orange48768847
Rockland47307968
Onondaga39280680
Dutchess29728447
Albany24893358
Oneida22765517
Niagara20168375
Broome18744367
Saratoga15563168
Ulster14043258
Schenectady13291205
Rensselaer11333145
Putnam1068293
Chautauqua8990146
Chemung7826137
Oswego767593
Ontario746293
Steuben6998147
Sullivan673576
St. Lawrence671597
Cayuga638692
Jefferson622668
Wayne581873
Cattaraugus576592
Genesee5452124
Herkimer5235110
Clinton486833
Madison459989
Livingston455060
Fulton444993
Tompkins439152
Montgomery4276128
Columbia4109104
Cortland395564
Tioga385863
Warren373762
Wyoming361453
Allegany357687
Chenango352777
Otsego347747
Greene345279
Washington318755
Orleans313983
Lewis283136
Franklin257012
Delaware241239
Seneca202157
Schoharie171918
Essex162026
Yates118226
Schuyler108614
Hamilton3162
Unassigned8812
Out of NY0252
Utica
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 61°
Oneonta
Partly Cloudy
65° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 65°
Herkimer
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 61°
Old Forge
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 61°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather

Alivana Wellness Infusion Giveaway
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
18 Facets of Summer Photo Contest brought to you by Herkimer Diamond Mines
Looking for work or looking to hire? Check out the WKTV Job Fair!
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve