I met up with Diana at her home in Red Hook where she was gracious enough to speak with me.
The candidates were also sent a questionnaire by the PTSA. Diana’s response is included below:
Please tell us a little bit about yourself on a personal level.
First and foremost, I am a very proud mom of two children in Red Hook. My daughter is 17 and is currently a senior. My son is 13 and is in 8th grade. Both children have been involved with the arts, athletics and school leadership opportunities. My husband has coached soccer, is the president of the Red Hook Rec Park Pool and teaches high school science in Pine Plains. We have a very large, neurotic dog that frequently needs reminders that he is not a kid. My family has lived in Red Hook for nearly fifteen years.
I am a pediatric physical therapist that specializes in the care and treatment of infants and toddlers who have special needs. I am the co-owner of Partnership for Education (providing home and community special education and therapy services to children) and Country Acres Child Resource Center (daycare and preschool for children of all abilities). My favorite past-time is being with my family, watching their events and activities, and cheering on their successes. I also greatly enjoy cooking, crafts, Pilates, walking and playing golf.
What motivates you to want to become a board member?
After years of involvement in the school with PTA and PTSA, various committees, volunteering in the classroom and on field trips, work on the nutrition/wellness committee and building/district leadership teams, working on the school board has been a natural progression. I value public education immensely and feel very fortunate to be part of the Red Hook Central School District community. As a current school board member, I have valued the close working relationship with other board members and the administration which in turn has, and will continue, to provide continuity for the district. Continuing my support for the district, the students and school community is of utmost importance to me.
What strategy would you suggest for maintaining an acceptable budget amid shrinking state aid to our district?
Over the last several years, the methods for creating and maintaining an acceptable budget amid shrinking state aid has shifted significantly. All budgetary departments have worked hard to maintain a trim, no waste budget. As a district, we need to continually look closely at maximizing class size, consolidating bus routes when appropriate, minimizing photocopying and using more green methods for communication and maintaining our buildings. As the challenges with shrinking state aide and significant fiscal constraints continue to impact the school and the students, we, as a school community must continue to work together to find alternative means of funding for what the district can offer the students. We should continue to explore and expand upon our relationship with Bard, The Red Hook Education Foundation, and other community based programs and groups.
What is your vision for education in this community?
My vision for education within our community is one of continued excellence with exemplary opportunities for our students with academics, arts and athletics, as well as community involvement. I think it is always important continually look toward the future so that our students are prepared for college programs, trade schools, the work force, and are prepared to be contributing members of their community. The expectations of post-high school education and career opportunities are continually changing and we, as a community, need to keep up with those changes.