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'Lance' Dickenson announces candidacy for Lewiston-Porter BOE

by jmaloni
Sat, Apr 12th 2014 07:00 am

by Lansing 'Lance' Dickinson

I wish to announce my intention to run for the Lewiston-Porter School Board of Education.

Although relatively new to the Lewiston-Porter area, I was raised in Newfane and received a bachelor's and master's degree in education from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. I served as an active duty Air Force officer for 30 years, before returning to Western New York to mentor students as a Junior ROTC instructor. I am an advocate for education and feel my experience as an officer, teacher, volunteer and parent will benefit the board as it faces the financial, curriculum, personnel, and infrastructure challenges of the future.

In the Air Force, I had the opportunity to use my educational training as a flight and ROTC instructor. I was responsible for all initial qualification and upgrade training in the B-1 bomber, including curriculum development, academics, simulator and flight training. I was also an ROTC instructor at Rochester Institute of Technology where I led a college-level officer training program that mentored, advised, taught and evaluated college students for future leadership positions in the Air Force. During my career, I also found time to teach college algebra, trigonometry and calculus as an adjunct professor for Alpena Community College, Embry-Riddle University and the University of Maryland and currently teach at Medaille College.

The Air Force also gave me the opportunity to manage organizational budgets as a commander responsible for flight operations, and on the staff as the senior ROTC registrar and the chief of Program Integration for Air Combat Command. As the registrar, I was responsible for developing plans and policies for 13,500 cadets at 144 units while managing a $70 million scholarship budget. As the chief of Program Integration, I was responsible for a $22.9 billion budget submission balancing personnel readiness, force structure, infrastructure, and modernization for the command.

The JROTC position allowed me to develop a leadership training program while mentoring students in citizenship. We developed programs that allowed the cadets to interact with students in the other schools, which gave me first-hand knowledge of the superb programs provided by the Lewiston-Porter School District. Every level, from primary school to the high school, offered a variety of classes and extracurricular activities like reading partnerships, Chinese language training, Builders Club, sports, drama club, music programs, and international studies that all contribute to the development of well rounded students for our global world.

But I also understand that tough decisions need to be made to ensure we have the resources to continue offering these activities and I am prepared to help make those tough decisions. The district faces a declining enrollment, core curriculum implementation, personnel changes including the hiring of a new superintendent, and capital projects to update our buildings. I believe I can help the board address these issues and look at ways of doing business smarter through consolidation and sharing of resources.

But the real success of our schools takes a combined effort from the administration, teachers, parents, and community. By working together and listening to each other, we will be able to meet these challenges and continue to provide a world-class education.

Thank you for your time and consideration and I look forward to working with the community on providing the best education possible for our children.

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