A previous version of this article ran the incorrect responses to the interview questions. The updated version includes the actual responses from Aaron Thompson to the questions. The Ledger highly regrets the error.
A familiar face will be rejoining the Lansing Central School District Board of Education starting the next academic year. Aaron Thompson was once again elected to the board this past month for his second stint. A retired deputy from the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department who is now a part of the Cornell University Police Department, Thompson previously held a seat on the board from 2017 to 2019.
Thompson sat down with the Ledger to discuss his goals for his new term.
Lansing Ledger: What are you most excited about as a new member of the Board of Education?
Aaron Thompson: This is my 2nd time serving on the BOE. I'm mostly looking forward to giving back to the community that raised me. As a board member I am part of the shaping and encouraging students to have a successful future.
LL: What do you hope to accomplish during your time on the board?
AT: I can't say I have a particular agenda. As a board member, my main goal is to make sure tax dollars are used in the most efficient way and the school does all it can do to keep the tax burden minimal. All too often I hear how people that live in Lansing are feeling they will have to leave because taxes are too high. I am aware that every dollar the school spends comes from either local, state, or federal tax dollars. I will work to keep that minimal.
LL: What do you anticipate will be the biggest challenge heading into your term? How do you plan to address them?
AT: One of the biggest challenges as a BOE member is to work within state guidelines and requirements with planning ahead for building projects that accommodate projected student body growth as well as faculty and staff positions. The Lansing administration and Board of Education have a good working relationship to work with state parameters.
Another challenge I have noticed is few community members come to meetings either in person or Zoom. I will encourage more Lansing residents to come to BOE meetings. From serving on the board in the past, I can say that is an ongoing challenge.
LL: What vision of the school district do you hope to create during your term?
AT: One vision is to have the Lansing School District continue to have very successful graduates in all fields of employment. A great number of graduates go on to college, but there are many other career paths to take including military, first responders and trades. All of which are in high demand for workers. I would like to see Lansing have students aware of those opportunities. Overall, I didn't become a board member to change Lansing. I became a member to be part of the already great school that Lansing is.