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   Advocacy Central

                                                 Meet Your  Legislative Co-Chairs: 
 Scott Johnson, Sweet Home 

 
Kathleen Chiavetta, Lake Shore

                                         Erik Polkowski, Akron 

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Scott Johnson serves on the Sweet Home School Board and is currently serving as the Board President. He has been a Board Member for 15 years. Scott has been a member of the school’s PTA and various school committees since 2000. He volunteered for Habitat for Humanity and oversaw the building of a house in 1993. He worked with Habitat for Humanity for over 20 years. He is an over 100+ unit Blood Donor and an Officer for 30 years in the New York State Association of Transportation Engineers. As early as 1972, Scott was involved with the rehab of a building that became the Kevin Guest House in Buffalo. He has been involved as a volunteer in Special Olympics for several years.

Within his own school district, he serves as the NYSSBA Convention Delegate and is on the Audit Committee. Scott has been the recipient of the ECASB Rising Star Award, The Shining Star Award, and the Medallion Club Award (2 times each). In 2008 Scott received the NYSSBA Boardsmanship award and the NYSSBA Leadership in Governance Award. In 2015 he was awarded the NYSSBA Board Lifetime Achievement Award.

 

Through his employment, he has received the Association of Transportation Engineers—Engineer of the Year in 2005. Scott is a 1977 graduate of Kenmore West H.S. and attended ECC and SUNYAB for Engineering. He has worked for the Erie County Highway Department as an Engineering Tech., the NYS Department of Transportation as an IT Manager and Highway Designer, and recently retired from the NYS Office of Information Technology Services. He and his wife Bonnie have been married since 1982 and have two children, Janelle (25) and Gregory (22). 

Kathleen Chiavetta has served on the Lake Shore Central Board of Education since 2015 and on the ECASB Legislative Team since 2016. She is also a member of Lake Shore's Academy of Business and Finance Advisory Board. 

 

Kathleen is the Director of Business Development for Chiavetta's Catering, a four-generation family business, and is an alumna of UB's Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. 

 

She loves politics, is passionate about advocacy, and has traveled to Albany and DC on behalf of Lake Shore and ECASB. She's a proud Buffalo native who prefers any other season over summer, will forever think this year might be the Bills' year, and yes, she still eats Chiavetta's chicken, just probably less often than you do. 

 

When she's not comfortably at home enjoying her fireplace, her cats, or her generally rural life, she enjoys traveling both near and far with her three children.

Erik Polkowski has been a member of the

Akron-Newstead community for over 24 years and has served on the Akron Central School District’s Board of Education since 2018. He was drawn to service when his children were in school during the years of the GAP elimination. He was concerned by the number of programs and teachers being cut and the poor reallocation of resources. He wanted to make a positive change and be on top of working with legislators to best handle what our schools needed.

 

As a parent of Akron CSD students, Erik has been active in the Akron Music Parents Booster Group, the PTA, and has worked with athletic teams in the district.  He has volunteered for various class activities and assisted and advised students in the construction of the homecoming floats.  As a School Board Member, Erik has served as Vice President for the last two years and is the Board President for the 2023-2024 school year. He also served as a Board Representative on the district interview panels and has served as part of the District Construction team for the current capital project. 

 

In 2019, Mr. Polkowski was recognized by ECASB as a Shining Star Award recipient, and in 2022, he earned the Lorie Sabo Advocacy Award.

 

Erik is an engineer and project manager for a steel supplier, as well as a small business owner. He serves on the Town of Newstead Planning Board, focusing on construction. He is also a to field hockey official, so watch for him on your field hockey fields!

He likes building relationships with legislators. Developing a positive relationship and dialoguing with legislators are the keys to successful advocacy. As an ECASB Legislative Committee Representative and Alternate for his district, he has attended both in person and virtual meetings and the representative for the NYS Senate districts 61 & 62 and the NYS Assembly districts 139 and 144. 

 

Erik was one of the first Legislative Committee members to begin reaching out to his Erie County Legislator.  The ECASB organization followed suit and began including the entire County Legislature in their advocacy efforts when issues arose that involved this group of elected officials.  In addition, Erik has been active in the past advocating with his Federal Congressmen and US Senator.  He would welcome dialogue with legislators about long term fixes to address teacher shortages, electric bus mandates, and bus driver shortages as just a few of the issues facing schools.

Important Info and Links

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NYS Elected Rep Summary

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In Memoriam...Lorie E. Sabo

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