Name: Lorita Mayo
Biography: Lorita Mayo is a Suffolk native who grew up in the Holy Neck Borough. She worked as a teacher, assistant principal and principal for 31 years within the Suffolk Public Schools system.
1. Why should residents elect you to the School Board?
I am a lifelong resident of Suffolk, the Holy Neck Borough, and the Holland community. With 31 years of service in Suffolk Public Schools as an educator (teacher, assistant principal, and principal), I have an understanding of the educational process and the needs of our children in the Holy Neck Borough and in the city of Suffolk. I am seeking this position on the school board because I genuinely care about Suffolk Public Schools and the city of Suffolk. I believe we have an obligation to our children to provide the best educational opportunities and to prepare them for lifelong learning.
Serving on the school board would allow me to have an opportunity to give back to the community. Community service has always been an integral part of my life’s experiences. Since I am retired, I have the time to devote to the Suffolk School Board and to ensure that the constituents from our borough are represented in an effective manner.
2. What would you do to improve school security?
The safety and security of our students are important factors in creating a healthy learning environment. Some safety measures to consider are security personnel at all schools, entrance doors locked with monitored intercom systems to allow guests to enter the building, picture ID for visitors, and visibility of staff in areas of the building that may be vulnerable. Local Police and Fire Departments should have access to floor plans of the schools in case of intruders. Students must participate in lockdown drills in preparation for situations of this type and be aware of building exits as well.
3. How would you invest in technology and improve its applications in your schools?
Technology can be a valuable tool in the classroom. The school system must continue to invest in technology and find the technology tools that can effectively extend learning in the classroom. Technology enhanced classrooms will help with more interactive lessons. Since students have different learning styles, the use of technology may be the answer to reaching some students who are having difficulty grasping certain concepts. In order for technology in the classroom to be used effectively, it must be integrated into the curriculum. Well-integrated use of technology resources makes learning relevant and possible.
4. What are the most challenging aspects of being a teacher in your community? How would you support your teachers through these challenges?
Transmitting knowledge to the students has always been the primary purpose of the teaching profession. Some of the challenges that teachers face include: implementation of curriculum based on the Standards of Learning, testing and accountability, classroom management, and addressing the individual needs of diverse learners. Teachers must be provided with the necessary resources for instruction and learning. Continuous professional development is essential to help teachers to expand their knowledge and to grow in the profession.
5. What would you do to better support your vulnerable students? For example, those who live in poverty.
Meeting the needs of all students is a key factor to achieving success in our schools. Students who live in poverty face certain challenges because of their economic condition. Some ways schools can address the needs of students who live in poverty include: providing meals, opportunities to complete classroom assignments (due to conditions at home), parent workshops, family activities to build relationships and coping skills, and involvement in partnerships to support the needs of students in poverty. Every effort must be made to give these students the opportunity to enrich and extend knowledge and achieve success in school.
6. What are your top three budget priorities?
- Work to ensure that the necessary resources are provided for instruction and learning in safe and secure environment
- Support funding to ensure that the salaries for teachers and support personnel are comparable with area school districts
- Provide continued support for educational and job readiness programs that prepare our youth for the future