Thursday, 24 April 2014 00:00
My name is Margaret Ballantyne-Mannion, Ph.D., and I am a candidate for the Mineola School District Board of Education. My family moved to the district in 1972. I graduated from Adelphi University with a B.A. in Spanish and earned my M.A. and Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Brown University. Since 1984 when my husband, Luke Mannion, and I married, we have lived in the school district. We have two sons, Thomas, 24, and William, currently a junior at Mineola High School.
The reason I am seeking election to the board is simple: I am excited about the recent accomplishments of the district and I am eager to help the teachers and administrators continue to offer the very best educational experiences and opportunities to all our students, on all levels. We have outstanding teachers who are developing challenging and meaningful curriculum, technology that outshines all other districts in New York State, a recognized music program, a full range of extracurricular activities for all students, a fiscally responsible administration and students who make all of us proud. Mineola is at a tipping point and I think that my educational background and professional experience would allow me to help advance the district’s mission.
For more than 30 years I have taught Spanish language, literature, translation techniques and culture, as well as western civilization, women’s studies, English as a second language, literature in translation courses. In the early 1980s. my discipline adopted national proficiency standards and I have been deeply involved in the integration of those standards into the curriculum at three different colleges, and continue to do so at York College/CUNY where I am Spanish professor.
My professional duties have centered on curriculum creation and development, faculty development, long-range and strategic planning and accreditation. I have been a department chairperson, chair of the college curriculum committee, chair of the College
Committee on Academic Standards, co-chair of the General Education Reform Committee, co-chair of the York College Middle States Decennial Accreditation Self-Study Process to name just a few of my responsibilities which I believe prepare me for work as a trustee on the board.
Over the past decades I have been active in the community, especially through St. Aidan’s Parish where I have been a member of many committees, volunteered with the first Happy Caps group, served as lector, Eucharistic minister, RCIA team and pastoral council member. Currently, I am a catechist in the Special Needs program and a member of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. In the school district I have been class parent several times, member of PTA in Meadow Drive, the middle school and high school, and SEPTA, which this year I serve as Co-President. I have also served as a Spanish language interpreter for CSE meetings.
I am asking for your support because every day I witness the academic standards and rigor young people need in order to succeed in college or their chosen career. We owe our children nothing less than this: that our students graduate from Mineola Schools with the best education possible. That is my goal for each and every child in our District.