News, Politics, and Culture from 14895

By Lacey Gardner

Wellsville Central School Board Election: Three questions for candidate Robert Gilfert


Vote for three candidates on Tuesday May 21st

By Andrew Harris

SUN: Would you be agreeable to merging with smaller school districts like Scio, Whitesville, and Andover ?  Why or why not?

GILFERT:  Yes.  The size of our student population has shrunk significantly over the past few decades.  With smaller numbers, it’s difficult to have critical mass for some programs.  If a merger is done properly, the positives should greatly outweigh any negatives.  This should be looked at carefully by the school boards considering the merge, their assigned merger study committees’ recommendations, and ultimately be left up to the voters of the communities.

SUN: Wellsville has low test scores compared to the rest of the region according to the latest state reports. There are infrastructure improvements needed in the schools and buildings and grounds (including athletics) and we have a lot of teaching openings. There is also a budget to be done. What are your priorities as a board member?

GILFERT: I looked at the state test reports from “How NY School Districts Did On State Tests In 2023” for ELA and Math, Grades 3-8, and Wellsville is at the bottom of the schools that provided data in our county (Read that data here.) Somehow Wellsville has lost its way.  My priority would be to see Wellsville academic scores start to climb and some day be at or near the top.  This is something we will all be proud of and hopefully lead to a more positive attitude throughout the school.

SUN: How do you explain the historic number of candidates for a volunteer school board spot ?  What is the number one reason you gathered signatures and filed a petition?

GILFERT: The historic number of candidates may be people in our community who now feel it’s better to try to get involved than to continue to sit on the sidelines.  At age 62, I may have some perspective and experience that could translate into having worthwhile and helpful input.

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