<<Home Niagara Falls Reporter Archive>>

Paretto Will be First on School Ballot

Left to right Tony Paretto, IBEW Business Agent, Russ Quarantello, and- County Legislator, Jason Zona. "My number one goal is to make sure our teachers have all the tools needed to educate our children to the highest possible standards."
~ Tony Paretto

Niagara Falls school board candidate Anthony “Tony” Paretto has worked hard the last few months, collecting nearly 400 signatures before the May 1st deadline to get on this year’s ballot.

The requirement is 100 signatures and Paretto - who is conducting his first campaign - turned in the most signatures of any school board candidate.

By the luck of the draw, Paretto's name will be the first on the ballot.

Paretto collected many of the signatures himself which, he said, gave him the opportunity to hear directly from voters about what they view as the major issues in the school district.

“Over and over again, people tell me that it’s time for new blood on the school board, ” Paretto said.  “They’re right. You can’t keep electing the same people year after year expecting different results. Many of the parents I speak to also appreciate that I have three kids in the district. I know what they’re going through as parents and I know what our kids are dealing with inside the schools. ... They know the future depends on graduating well-rounded and disciplined students.”

Paretto, who is employed as an electrician by the city of Niagara Falls in theDepartment of Public Works, decided to run in part because of the passage of a $67 million capital improvement bond last year in a referendum .

Paretto has worked on major capital improvement projects, including the Lyndonville School project in Orleans County, Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, and the Seneca Niagara Casino project to renovate the convention center.

“I know how important it is to control costs for projects as big as the one the district is starting," he said. "I believe having the experience of actually working on a large scale project is a plus for my candidacy. Too many projects in this city have gone over budget. As a board member, I would be in a good position to make sure we are getting what we pay for."

Paretto is a volunteer youth football coach and a booster for the Niagara Falls Junior Football Club and has given a good deal of thought to the myriad ways education is delivered to children.

"I understand how team sports build character," he said. "The new fields that are being constructed behind Niagara Falls High School will be a tremendous asset and opportunity for us to educate the whole child. It’s about more than just what they learn inside the classroom."

Paretto said his first order of business, if he is elected, is to familiarize himself with the district's policies.

“I will work with everybody - administrators, teachers, maintenance crews, teachers’ aides, even bus drivers - to go over operations to make sure they have the right tools, policies and programs they need to improve our kids’ educations. From my experiences helping coach the football team, I’ve seen where there are inefficiencies that we can change to save money and make sure it’s going where it’s needed - the classrooms,” said Paretto.

Paretto is a 1984 graduate of Niagara Falls High School and completed a five year National Joint Apprenticeship Committee electrical trade apprenticeship, obtaining more than 8,000 hours of experience in the program sponsored by the IBEW.

He resides in LaSalle with his wife Sue and their three children, Anthony Jr., Michael and Kaitlyn. His children attend Niagara Falls schools making him uniquely qualified and interested in the school board position.

Before becoming employed as a journeyman electrician for the city seven years ago, he was with the IBEW Local 237 since 1991.

“I have always felt that I can make a difference in young people’s lives by sharing my life’s experiences," he said. "I always look for opportunities to teach kids some of the practical knowledge and science that I’ve learned, for example, over the last 20 years as an electrician. You never know when a simple concept such as Ohm’s Law might spark some kid’s interest.” said Paretto.



Niagara Falls Reporter - Publisher Frank Parlato Jr. www.niagarafallsreporter.com

May 14, 2013