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I have outlined a few of the issues within our school district that are extremely important to me.  With that being said, I believe your concerns and issues are important and should not be neglected.  If elected to the Crestwood School Board, I will have an “open door” policy and will make myself available to any community member who has a concern or issue with our District.


 This survey is the second phase of our educational community outreach that will provide you with an opportunity to provide more in depth responses through open-ended questions.   Thank you for participating in this survey. Your feedback is important.  


If the above link does not open to the survey - please copy and paste the link directly to your webpage browser:


One of the key components of my candidacy is ensuring that our community stakeholders have a voice in education.  This survey was developed with the support of a variety of community members such as parents, students, community leaders, teachers, support staff, etc...Thank you for participating in this survey. Your feedback is important and if elected, I will continue to listen and learn from our community as we all have a voice in the education of our community. 

Please click here to view responses from the Your Voice In Education - Community Survey I 

Academic Excellence:  Our students have proven themselves academically time after time.  We have some of the best test scores throughout Northeastern PA.  This is because of the excellent teachers and staff within our school system as well as the dedicated parents we have in our community.  We cannot become complacent with our past academic successes and must look to future programs, such as more AP Courses offered and the development of our own STEM programs as well as other programs that may develop and lead to increased student achievement. 

Early Childhood Education:  It is imperative that our district continues the full-day kindergarten program and that it is never considered to be eliminated in the future.  Having a child go through the full-day kindergarten program at Rice Elementary only strengthens my position.  The learning that takes place is astonishing. 

Beyond the positive academic and social experiences for our students, early childhood education is also a great recruiting tool for young adults who value education and are looking for a school district and community that does the same.  Threatening to cut full-day kindergarten will only hurt our community in the end. 

Community Involvement: As I stated above, it is vital to have community collaboration regarding our school district.  Speaking with many of our neighbors, it is my impression that many feel that their voices are ignored.  This will not be the case if I am elected to the school board.  You will always have a voice.   

Arts, Athletics and Extra-Curricular Activities:  Budgets are tight both within the school district and with our taxpayers, but we do a great disservice to our community and the students if we were to eliminate programs in the arts, athletics and extra-curricular activities.  These programs enhance not only our students’ lives, but also the whole community.

Sound Decision Making:  Our district has seen its fair share of poor decision making and its direct cost to the taxpayers.  From the busing issues that arose to start the school year and left students and parents in a panic, to the unnecessary threats regarding layoffs, eliminating several programs, which included full-day kindergarten, and threats of massive tax hikes last May.  These issues have cost the taxpayers money and made the stakeholders in our school district concerned for the future.

Fair Contracts:  As an employee of a school district, I know first-hand, the commitment and hard work that each person within a school brings to a building’s success and academic excellence.  In order for our district to continue to recruit the very best, we need to provide fair contracts for all our employees.  We see every day the chaos that ensues when teachers and staff strike because of unfair contracts.  This would have a negative effect on our students and our community.

Public Education Advocacy: The right that every American has to a free and appropriate education is what this country is all about. The continuous attacks and slashing of funding for public schools is the wrong direction for our country.  I will continue to advocate for Crestwood School District and public schools in general.  We need to invest in our children, our public schools, and our communities.

I greatly appreciate and thank you for your support and vote - James Costello
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