We caught up with North District Buffalo School Board candidate Wendy Mistretta on Grant St in Buffalo to gain her insight on education in the Queen City. Over a couple delicious mugs of coffee this is what we talked about.
PB: So you’re running for the Board of Education seat in the North District?
WM: Yes, But I live just barely on the other side of Richmond. So where I live I also feel very much connected to the West District because my kids go to school in the West District.
PB: In what part of the city is the North District?
you can see original map here
WM: It hits North Buffalo but touches different parts of the city.
PB: Are you a lifelong Buffalo/Western New York resident, what’s your story?
WM: Yes I am. My children attend Buffalo Public Schools.
PB: Tell us about your professional background, educational background.
WM: I have a Ph.D. in Higher Education with concentration in Comparative Education, a MS in Student Personnel Administration, and a BBA in International Management. I have been a Parent Facilitator at International School #45, a Assistant Director of International Education at Buffalo State College, on the Buffalo Public School’s Strategic Plan Steering Committee and the Emergent Bilingual Grant Team at International School #45. I am also the District Parent Coordinating Council (DPCC) Representative for International School #45.
PB: Why are you running for this seat?
WM: The system seems to be set up benefit the people currently working in it and there isn’t really a plan on how to fix the schools. Although, the strategic plan I have some hope will address this. But, I’ll have more hope if there are people on the board who when the strategic plan goes into effect it will be implemented by them. I don’t see where the district has a good record of implementing plans. It has been a year since the wellness plan has been adopted but that process is moving slowly.
PB: What are your thoughts on Say Yes Buffalo?
WM: I think it’s an amazing opportunity for all of our students.
PB: Where do you see Buffalo’s Public Education system in 10 years?
WM: I want to make sure that we really look at the district as whole and make sure that no matter where you live every single community has a good school that meets the needs of all the students. We know how to do it, we have Olmsted, we have City Honors, and we have the charter schools we just have to do it properly. I see true parent partnership, and true community partnership. I think that we will find our way back towards neighborhood schools.
PB: Does having a good public education system fit in with living sustainably?
WM: The idea of sustainability is to keep families in good housing, to keep them safe, and keep them secure. I think I’m doing the same thing in education. I’m trying to keep the parents a part of the school so that they can be a part of the community and be a part of their children’s education.
To learn more about Wendy's campaign visit here