Shelly Leathers

Q.  How long have you served on the Jamestown Board of Education?

A.  This is my first year on the school board where I will be filling the vacated seat until May 2014.  In May, I will seek election for a three-year term.

Q.  Why did you originally decide to become a Board Member and why do you continue to serve?

A.  I am dedicated to ensuring that our community continues to thrive, and one of the key elements to this is an excellent school district. My husband and I both attended JPS and moved away to New England for a short time when we were first married. We chose to come back to Jamestown to raise a family, and we are both committed to making this area a place where other people want to raise a family. I believe my experience in accounting and education will give me the perspective to see all sides of an issue and to provide solutions. Education is the future of our community, so I strongly believe in making it the best it can be.

Q.  What is your life like outside of the School Board?

A.  I am currently the accounting manager at L.J. Stein Insurance Company for our offices in Lakewood and Calgary. I am a member of St. James Parish, and I enjoy spending time outdoors with my family and our two labs. As a result of a recent trip to Nashville, I have become a big country music fan.

Q.  What are your biggest concerns facing Jamestown Schools in the coming years?

A.  One of the biggest challenges is to continue to provide a quality education with shrinking financial resources. We need to ensure our students have the skill set necessary to prepare them for post-secondary education as well as the work force. In addition, we are asking more of our teachers every day, and we need to also ensure that our teachers are receiving the best professional development in order to meet the needs of a diverse school population.

Q.  Why do you think Jamestown Public Schools is a great place for children to receive an education?

A.  Jamestown Public Schools have something to offer every student. I believe Jamestown provides one of the most academically challenging and diverse educations in  WNY. Both of our children are JHS graduates, and had very positive, yet very different experiences.  They were involved in many of the extracurricular activities offered at JHS.