Candidate for School Board: Tania Thomas

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Tania Thomas is running for Mamaroneck School Board, and circulated this letter. The election is today, May 21:

Six Things I Have Learned about my Larchmont Mamaroneck Neighbors

I have been a homeowner in the Larchmont-Mamaroneck community since 2004, but until I started talking to people on our streets while canvassing for the Board of Education election, I now realize I didn’t really know my fellow residents that well.

Here are six things I have learned while campaigning to be elected to the School Board on Tuesday May 21:

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1. The vast majority of residents care deeply about the way our schools are run. However, most don’t realize they have an opportunity (this Tuesday) to elect the members of the Board who oversee the school budget and school administrators. Many have told me I am the only candidate running they have actually heard about, met or who has asked them for their vote.

2. Almost all the parents I have spoken to are really worried about their kids being bullied at school, either physically, verbally or on social media. Bullying at school is a major issue across America. I want to ensure the Board of Education addresses bullying in all its forms. Only by acknowledging and owning this problem can it start to be addressed. Our current Board simply sweeps complaints under the rug which is why I am campaigning for more transparency.

3. Almost all the parents I have talked to whose children have been exposed to bullying, have been dissatisfied with the way administrators and district personnel have handled it and their complaints about it. Sometimes, school administrators seem more concerned about protecting the bullies rather than the bullied! They desperately need help and training to recognize and deal with bullying.

4. Many people say diversity is one of the reasons they were attracted to this community yet they are deeply concerned about incidents of racism and anti-semitism that their children have witnessed or been exposed to. Local parents tell me they want to prepare their children to live in a multi-cultural and ethnically diverse America. Our schools are where that learning and preparation for life begins.

5. Every home owner cares about the re-sale value of their home and since property prices are tied to the reputation of our schools, it is important that our School Board equips our teachers and school administrators(many of whom live elsewhere) with the right training but also holds them accountable for delivering the very best education system possible.

6. Finally, most people do not realize that the official sounding “selection committee” made up of 24 private residents (they say they are “elected” but they have to invite you to be on their “ballot”) has for years selected their own candidates for the School Board. However well meaning, this group of private individuals have no right or qualifications to decide for the people of our community who should or should not be on our School Board. If you care about exercising your democratic rights, I encourage you to make your own informed choice and vote on the issues you care about.

My name is last on the ballot paper and whether you vote for me or not on Tuesday (7am to 9pm on May 21 at your local Elementary School), I hope you will at least exercise your democratic right to vote. I believe all children in our community deserve the opportunity to feel safe at school so they can learn, thrive and reach their full potential.

Sincerely, Tania Thomas

5 thoughts on “Candidate for School Board: Tania Thomas

  1. I’d like to add that Christian Zambrano is highly qualified to serve on the board as well. Not only has he lived in our district for 33 years, but he’s an Assistant Principal in Yonkers and previously taught K – 6th for 11 years. He was also the lead administrator for the My Brothers Keeper Program in Yonkers, which seeks to empower young men of color by developing leadership skills–Christian’s was the only such program in NY State honored by the Obama Foundation. It would be quite a boon to have someone with his educational expertise on our board.

  2. A great Board – for any not-for-profit, company, school- should be as diverse as possible. When gathered together, their shared voices create direction for a community or a business. If boards aren’t diverse enough to represent their communities, why bother to have a board?

    In today’s election, I am supporting the incumbent, Rina Beder, because of her years of service and steadfast hand, and newcomer Tania Thomas – who if elected will be the first Black woman to serve on our Board of Ed.

    I love our school district-and have since the day I chose to move here nearly 30 years ago.

    Recently, I am concerned for our community.

    I am concerned by the newly negotiated teacher’s contract that seems to unfairly pay the newest hires making it more difficult to attract dynamic talent just as the incredible growth in our enrollment will require new teachers- especially high level AP teachers at the HS level in the next few years. As a NYS certified teacher, Tania Thomas would have noticed this error.

    I am concerned about the long term planning for overcrowding- especially as I gaze at endless construction with pie in the sky estimates of school age families moving in. Tania believes developers need to be brought to the table to discuss plans for the schools. (Amongst other ideas on this matter.)

    I am concerned about the reports of racism and bullying, and feel it is time that we implement programs to better educate our children and our staff. ( Building Bridges has been an amazingly successful program to teach all about the myriad ways humans can be physically and mentally exceptional. It is time to address race in the same way. )

    Please get out and vote for today’s budget and for Rina Beder and Tania Thomas

    • Agree. Every person I know who had the opportunity to meet Tania at the schools or farmers markets over the past few weeks is raving about her. Like many communities, we are struggling with racism, anti-Semitism and bullying in the era of Trump. Tania is committed to doing something about it!

      • When can we eliminate the politburo selection committee? It reminds me of the so-called Independent Democratic Conference – remember them? The NYS Fake Dems who basically stole democracy by running as Democrats but voting as Republicans. Nothing like standing in the way of real democracy by making the so-called “selection committee” the “official (and only) gatekeepers.” Let’s get rid of this Soviet anachronism / Boss Tweed machine based politics once and for all.

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