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New Board Member Welcomed
Greenburgh’s Claudia Glaser Joins SWBOCES Board
Since joining the Southern Westchester BOCES Board of Education this summer, new member Claudia Glaser has become committed to spreading the word about the exciting opportunities the organization has to offer. As a long-time advocate of education, she strives to ensure that families have the knowledge and necessary information to make beneficial decisions for their children’s futures.
Ms. Glaser was appointed to the board on July 5. She is a Greenburgh resident of 11 years who has served on Greenburgh’s Board of Education since 2011, including a year as its vice president. Her two children are 12 years old and in eighth-grade at Woodlands Middle School.
“I’m really excited to join the SWBOCES board,” Ms. Glaser said. “I believe that every child has the right to the best possible education. I want to make a difference in people’s lives. My work on both boards contributes to this goal – and that makes me happy. So far, working with BOCES has been a pleasurable experience. It’s different from the local board, but I’m really enjoying it.”
When Ms. Glaser decided to apply for the open SWBOCES board position, she researched the organization and found a dichotomy between the average person’s perception of BOCES and the actual services that BOCES provides to county residents and local school districts.
“The organization is much more advanced than what’s widely thought,” she said. “BOCES is more in real-time with the educational issues in America today. It has a strong purpose and mission, and is moving forward progressively.”
Ms. Glaser shared that some residents think that BOCES is a place where students go as a last resort. However, she explained, that BOCES provides strong resources and guidance for those looking to follow a different path – one that is no less important or less rigorous.
“If you’re involved in a program through BOCES, it is not a lesser path taken, it is an alternative path taken,” Ms. Glaser said. “And that’s an important point. It brings the common perception to a new understanding. And that’s what excites me about being here and having the chance to serve on this board.”
Ms. Glaser wants to share her knowledge of BOCES’ services with Southern Westchester residents. From adult education and special education to professional development and an incarcerated youth program, BOCES has a plethora of offerings but the community needs to know what is available, she said.
“Many of today’s families aren’t aware of what is provided for them through cooperative educational services – and that’s a huge disservice,” Ms. Glaser continued. “I want to see that perception changed and knowledge be gained by many more people. There’s a huge support system here that can lift people up and truly help them. That’s a pretty great place to be.”
She explained that there are different educational experiences beyond the norm, along with many resources and opportunities for families to learn. Ms. Glaser said that she is committed and passionate about sharing this information with the public so that they know what is available for them and their children – and that they actively seek out the educational prospects that they need.
“I want to ensure that every child can have the best opportunities – whether they’re in kindergarten, 12thgrade or extended services,” she said. “I definitely consider myself an advocate and activist for education. With advocacy, I’ll ensure we provide guidance for residents to better understand BOCES’ educational offerings. As an activist, I’m watching the education-based activity on the state and national levels.”
Ms. Glaser added that she wants parents to recognize that they have the means to advocate for their child. Since they know their child best, they are their strongest advocates, she said. However, many parents aren’t aware of their power and simply trust that the educational system will do its best.
“But the system can only do what it needs to with the guidance of parents and families,” she said. “We need to work collaboratively and share resources. We need to look forward and not solely concentrate on the present.”
Ms. Glaser plans to continue ongoing dialogue with families to guide them through their educational journeys. She encourages them to include their child during the decision-making process and involve them in the discussions.
“Have your child join that conversation,” she said. “Start chatting with them about their future at a younger age. In high school, it may already be too late. Have your children thinking about what they are interested in and have them pursue it. Guide them to have a clearer sense of where their interests lie and set them up for success. BOCES can help.”