By Dr. Alesia Olsen
I am running for the Board of Education in South Country School District.
I have created a Facebook page to inform and promote who I am and what I feel I can do for the students, families and community of South Country.
Here is a bit about me:
I started at Suffolk County Community College, obtaining my associate’s degree, then transferred to St. Joseph’s College. I worked and took classes while balancing a family.
I completed my undergraduate studies with dual certifications in Elementary K-6 and Special Education K-12. I continued to Columbia University, where I was in the first group to graduate with a master’s degree in Teacher of American Sign Language.
And as I became more comfortable in my field, I wanted to continue to learn and grow.
I later completed my administrative degrees through Stony Brook. But I was not done. I continued with my schooling and completed my doctoral program through St John’s in leadership and accountability.
I recently retired after 30-plus years of teaching.
I still do not believe I am done.
My story is not over.
In 2011, after learning of the struggle for students in home instruction, I started a company with a partner. “Where students come first,” was, and still is, our motto. We grew from servicing 1 district to 35. I bought my partner out in 2018 and became a 100 percent women owned business.
Through my business, I learned quickly about budgeting, payroll and how to be a boss. The company now has over 65 contracts in good standing and serves residential agencies for students that have a few more challenges to overcome. The company manages over 200 tutors and specialists.
I also found quickly that I didn’t know everything, and needed to surround myself with people who had strengths that I didn’t. You will hear me say “smarter together,” because I believe that we are all life learners.
As a person who carries the responsibilities of the welfare of students, the power to support families and provide teachers and specialists with an income to feed their families, I will take that same drive to work with the South Country Community and School to keep our focus on our goals.
Above all, I believe in these words:
“Centering the students in education, and centering the school in the community.“
I would like to accomplish these goals by providing support emotionally and academically to our students. Identify the strengths and weaknesses and provide resources to assist in healthy, positive growth. This will mean having social workers, counselors, teachers and parents as part of the support community, which is supported by the Board of Education.
Community partnerships need a boost! The PTA/SEPTA are fabulous organizations that should be one of the hands that reach out into our community, to include them in the schools. A unified, districtwide PTA webpage linking all the school’s members should be made available. This way community members, parents and staff could attend events to support the students. (Field trips, plays, dances and student recognition)
Connecting with local businesses (i.e. Boys and Girls Club, the libraries across South Country School District, theater groups, etc.)
As a business owner, I understand the importance of fiscal responsibility and balance. I take responsibility for decisions. And if an error is made, rather than place blame, look for a solution.
Our students, families, school and community need a BOE that will be creative, accountable and responsive. A BOE needs to work together for the success of our students and stop the divide within our community.
Why should you vote for me?
I have a long, proven conviction to place the best interest of the students first with over 30 years of teaching experience and another 11 years serving students in our communities through an academic agency. I believe in community, accountability and fiscal responsibility. If I do not know the answer, I will seek out those who do, and draw them in. Hence, “Smarter Together.”