Paretto, Neveu, & Barstys Battle for Two Open Seats in Niagara Falls School Board Race

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Paretto Announces Re-Election Bid to Niagara Falls School Board



Tony Paretto officially launched his campaign for re-election to the Niagara Falls School District Board of Education in April. Having been first elected to the board in 2013, Paretto vowed to continue his dedicated service to the students and families of Niagara Falls and to remain committed to his goal of providing access to greater opportunities for all students in public schools.

Paretto is a City of Niagara Falls electrician and worked for over 20 years as a union electrician. He resides in LaSalle with his wife Sue and three children, daughter Kaitlyn, a student at Niagara Falls High School, and sons Michael and Anthony, both NFHS graduates.

Citing the strong leadership of school Superintendent Mark Laurie and an active and committed school board, Paretto echoed a district motto: “Learning For All … Whatever It Takes” in expressing his gratitude to the voters for voting him onto the board five years ago and asking again for their vote in the election to be held on May 15. He added: “I take the responsibility of serving on the school board very seriously, have an excellent meeting attendance record and have vigorously championed causes that I believe support the vision statement of the district to be a world-class, quality organization educating all students for life.”

Paretto listed several key areas in which he has a keen interest, and which will remain high on his personal agenda should he be re-elected. The areas include:

  • Student protection. Nothing is more important than the safety of our students and staff. We must continue the district’s emphasis on best practices and protocols to govern emergency and crisis situations.
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The Niagara Falls is the only district in the State to construct dedicated STEM classrooms in every
  • Vocational training. Trott and LaSalle H.S. had strong vocational programs that are gone, so Paretto supports the continued addition of vocational studies at the level below secondary school, at night for those already in the workforce who are seeking skills training and increased collaboration with union halls in training and hiring.
  • Pre-K for 3-year-old children. Noting the success achieved during the two years the program has been in place, Paretto supports efforts to identify adequate funding to expand the program to coverage throughout the city.
  • Continued capital construction. A State funded project of nearly $70 million is complete and $55 million in additional projects were approved in December 2017. Both programs are funded without any increase in the district tax levy.

School board member Paretto ended his announcement by stating: “If the voters put their trust in me for a second term they will not be disappointed. My commitment to cost control while maintaining and improving the quality of education for all will never waver.”



Neveu Announces Bid for Niagara Falls School Board



Lynne Neveu was born and raised in downtown Niagara Falls and now lives in LaSalle with her husband Patrick. Born into extreme poverty, the Niagara Falls School system was a haven of physical and emotional support for Lynne. She credits Niagara Falls teachers for her ability to get out of the cycle of poverty and now wants to use her talents and experience to support the school district that was crucial to her success.

Lynne has a unique combination of work experience that makes her exceptionally qualified to serve on the Niagara Falls School Board. With a background in state government working directly on the New York State budget process, Lynne has firsthand knowledge of how to navigate the systems that help fund our school district. She oversaw the process for capital project grants while working for our local Assemblyman and took a leading role in advocating for a greater local share of casino revenue funding. She has great working relationships with elected officials on various levels which will be crucial for securing funds to support our teachers and students.

Most recently, Lynne has been focused on addressing the high teen pregnancy rate through her work with Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York in Niagara County. Knowing that research shows that quality sexual health education reduces unintended teen pregnancies, Lynne worked directly with Superintendent Mark Laurrie and community partners to successfully advocate for comprehensive sexual health education in our schools. High teen pregnancy rates lower the likelihood of graduation and increase the chances of poverty. Addressing this issue will have a long-term impact on our youth, our schools, and our city.

Lynne has three main goals as a School Board member. She would focus on increasing youth and parent engagement by reducing barriers to participation in decision-making processes. She sees schools as a hub for the community they’re in and wants to expand the impact of Niagara Falls Schools. Through deepening relationships with community partners, the school district would gain immense resources which would alleviate the burden of overworked teachers and administrators. Finally, she understands that Niagara Falls’ teachers are incredibly capable and passionate and wants to provide them with the support they deserve by addressing the substitute teacher shortage and increasing access to training on mental health and trauma.

In her spare time, Lynne volunteers with various organizations in our city. She is a Trustee of the Niagara Falls Public Library, on the Board of Directors of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area, on the Board of Directors for the Niagara Beautification Commission, and also serves as the Chair of the Annual Holiday Home Decorating Contest. She is also a trained docent at Oakwood Cemetery. She recently won the Emerging Leader Award from the Niagara Falls Education Foundation and the Education Award from the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier.

Lynne is excited for this opportunity and would be thankful for your vote.



Ron Barstys Seeks Re-Election to Niagara Falls School Board



Ronald Barstys is a forty-five year-old father of one, Ryan, who attends Harry F. Abate Elementary and husband to Christine Barstys,  a highly talented, respected, tenured, and often-requested English teacher at Niagara Falls High School. He has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the State University of New York at Buffalo, along with a master’s of science degree in secondary teacher education, and a master’s of science degree in school district administration & supervision – both from Niagara University.

Mr. Barstys is currently working toward a PhD in Leadership and Policy at Niagara University and enjoys a permanent certification as a school district administrator.

Throughout his tenure as a teacher, Mr. Barstys has taught earth science, environmental science, and living environment classes for the school district. He was a Dean of Students at Niagara Falls High School before being appointed to the Administration Building for five-plus years where his work centered on: curriculum and assessments, grants, substitute for school principals, be a Niagara Falls Community Partnership for Youth member, and was an integral part of the District’s large-scale consolidation in 2008.

He has also been a union representative for the Niagara Falls Teachers Union, five years of highly successful head coaching experience at the varsity level, and was a 2008 Leadership Niagara graduate.

As Director of Student Services for the North Tonawanda City School District, he worked as the District’s Pre-School Special Education Chairperson, Section 504 Compliance Officer, Civil Rights Officer, Title IX Officer, Dignity for All Students Act Coordinator, Grant Coordinator, ESL Coordinator, and Alternative High School Administrator among many other duties. Mr. Barstys also oversaw school counselors and nurses, as well as social workers, speech therapists, remedial teachers, and school psychologist along with the Director of Special Education.

Currently, as Director of Special Programs with Orleans Niagara BOCES, Mr. Barstys supervises six administrators, nearly two hundred professional staff, over one hundred fifty support staff, and approximately five hundred students ages five to twenty-one. He oversees a budget of approximately $25 million dollars and serves as an executive member of the District Superintendent’s management team.

There is not a part of public education that Mr. Barstys does not have direct knowledge, or experience, in.

“My only motivation in running for the Board is to use this knowledge to do what is best for children by ensuring they have access to a sound and fiscally responsible public education. With your votes, I will be able to put a lifetime of experience to work for you and the children of our community.”



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