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Meet the Board of Education Candidates!

Meet the Board of Education Candidates
Monday May 13, immediately following the 6 p.m. budget hearing

Kristin Hopkins

Strengths of the District as you see them:
The strengths of LCSD reside in our size, our leadership, and our connected community. As a rural district, we're able to cultivate personal relationships between teachers and students and across peers; offer greater small group, one-to-one, and immersion learning opportunities; and, provide a diverse selection of academic, vocational, and extracurricular opportunities that rival more urban school districts. Our size promotes a unique ability to remain flexible in our response to evolving public education and fiscal challenges, and, allows leadership to implement expanded curriculum, resources, and services to support the ever changing needs of our students and community. Combined with strong administrative leadership, compassionate and innovative teachers/staff, and valuable community partnerships, the district provides an unparalleled K-12 academic experience.

District issues to be addressed:
For the past six years, I have volunteered across the district in numerous capacities and have witnessed a regular decline of family partnership and participation across our district and in our community. Everyone's time is limited, but parent/caregiver engagement and home-to-school connectedness is a critical component for student success. It is needed now more than ever. I would like to see the district continue to promote engagement and connectedness as part of our mission, vision, and culture.
 As one of the few, if not the only Tompkins County school district with increasing student enrollment year-over-year, I would like to see the district remain proactive in balancing capital needs assessments and campus logistics and safety to ensure current academic standards are preserved as growth from new residential construction projects come to fruition.

Strengths you have which would make you a good board member:
For the past four years, I have served as the Lansing PTSO President. Throughout my tenure, I've developed an extensive knowledge of our district while working in partnership with the Administration, Leadership Teams, Faculty and Staff, Students and Volunteers to deliver important programming and resources for our district. I have also served on the RC Buckley Shared Decision-Making Team and the Inclusion Committee Task Force.  Across these experiences, I successfully built consensus to achieve goals, effectively made decisions and supported group decision-making, and sought peer feedback and input to understand perspectives other than my own. I am passionate about contributing to our school community for the betterment of our students and am excited to bring my experience to the Board of Education.

Additional information:
I am running for the Board of Education because I take great pride in serving our school community and look forward to making a larger impact as a board member. Our family is deeply invested in the community and our children are currently fourth-generation Lansing students. This past Fall our family experienced an unimaginable loss and we are now raising our infant niece. While at school for various events and activities, I've found myself imagining how we'll navigate the school environment with my niece. It's been an eye-opening experience to see just how challenging it can be for our non-traditional families to feel a sense of belonging. I look forward to bringing this new lens and my personal experiences to the Board of Education.
Linda Pasto
Strengths of the District as you see them:
  • Ability to see each student’s potential and help them grow and develop
  • Strong academic, fine arts and sports programs each achieving high awards of excellence
  • Dedicated and involved faculty and staff who are focused on the worth and ability of each student
District issues to be addressed:
  • Maintaining high educational standards with budget challenges
  • Increasing diversity of students in district
Strengths you have which would make you a good board member:
I have many years of experience in the classroom teaching at the college level. I am a good communicator, as well as listener. I believe in consensus building and ensuring that each person is heard, and the opinions valued. I have a passion for the worth of each person and ensuring that they can reach their potential. Challenges and difficult decisions are something I feel competent in facing especially with 39 years of working as a nurse.

Additional information:
I have four children who have graduated from Lansing. Each of them has been successful post-high school because of the high-quality education they received at Lansing. I want to ensure that the district continues its high level of quality education in the future. I have served on the Hospicare board, 2 years as Board President. Currently serving on Meals on Wheels/FoodNet board. I volunteer with Girl Scouts, PTSO, Days for Girls and Rotary.
Susan Tabrizi
Strengths of the District as you see them:
  • Strong sense of community
  • Inclusive reliance on talents of faculty, staff and community members in partnership
  • Forward-thinking financial planning
  • Eye toward innovative teaching and educating for the whole child/student
  • Focus on social/emotional development
  • Opportunities for students to find and develop their unique talents
  • Excellent academic program focused on student achievement across a variety of disciplines
  • Strong and varied extra and co-curricular offerings (athletics, music, art, tech, student-interest clubs, service opportunities and activities)
District issues to be addressed:
  • Maintain fiscal responsibility and future planning
  • Maintain safety and security awareness and response
  • Continue and deepen awareness of support for social/emotional/mental wellness for students and staff
  • Continue and deepen awareness of issues related to socioeconomic stress and hunger among students and staff and act assertively
  • Continue to support top-quality academic instruction for all students in the district through recruitment and retention of excellent faculty and encourage their continued professional development
  • Anticipate increased enrollment as town grows
Strengths you have which would make you a good board member:
  • Dedication to service and betterment of our community
  • Inclusive approach to problem-solving
  • Willingness to listen and learn
  • I have 18 years of experience in higher education that gives me insight into the development of curriculum, management of budget, and the needs of young people as they engage with their academic, social and emotional development.
Additional information:
I am a 12-year resident of Lansing with two children in the district.  I have had the honor of serving our community as a school board member for the past three years.  I would like to continue to serve in order to lend a hand in the excellent work that is being done and to make sure that we continue and expand the innovative and inclusive approach that has been established by administration, teachers and staff.
Aaron Thompson
I graduated from Lansing in 1992 and attended Tompkins Cortland Community College from 1992-1995 earning an Associates in Criminal Justice. I then transferred to SUNY Brockport 1995-1997 where I earned a Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice. I attended Monroe Police Academy 1998-1999. I was employed by Monroe County Sheriff's Office from 1998-1999 until hired by Dryden Police Department. In 2002 I was hired at Tompkins County Sheriff's Office where I continue to serve. I have been on the Lansing School Board since 2016.

 Lansing School District has several strengths and there are two that I will speak of. The first is the district offers a variety of activities for students to participate in, which include a large variety of sports and performing arts programs. Second the Lansing Recreation Department, and the Lansing Highway Department, and the Lansing School have a good working relationship that helps with planning events and projects which helps the community receive the most from their tax dollars.
I feel one of the districts bigger issues is the rapid adding of approximately 80 rental units and what impact it will have on Lansing's classroom and the capacity of each school building. It is important to continue planning for this event and I am very interested and invested in being an active part of this process.

My personal strengths that would contribute to a board member position are my past and present roles within the community and district. First, I am a long-term resident of Lansing. My roots extend from my grandmother Ruth Tvaroha who graduated from Lansing in 1925 and later taught first grade at Lansing for 40 years. My mother, myself and two brothers graduated from Lansing as well. My mother was a teacher for 35 years instilling a strong respect for education. I also have a daughter Erin in 8th grade and a son in Ryan in 5th grade. These connections to the school make me want to promote what is best for both the school and community. Second, I chose to be a Tompkins County Deputy in order to protect and serve the community that raised me. As a Deputy I must make tough decisions often under pressure always keeping the public's best interest in mind. I have served on the Lansing School Board for the past 3 years and am part of the safety and facilities committees.

As a resident I am also aware of how higher taxes can impact the average working family. My hope as a board member is that we can find the perfect balance to continue to have a high-ranking school district while still allowing average income families to afford to live in the community. I would be honored to be reelected to the school board, to continue to serve the community and district in which I was raised and where I choose to live and raise a family.