2017-2018 Diamond Site Council Elections

Candidates for the site council are (in alphabetical order): 

Denise Bandaru, Jayshree Rajamani, Deepika Sawhney, PK Shiu, Dan Strollo

You can vote for up to three candidates here: https://goo.gl/forms/TDX46CudescA1qN03. Voting is open until Wednesday, June 14th.

Candidate Bios:

Denise Bandaru

I am a parent of an incoming 7th grader at Diamond.  I enjoy working with parents and children in community, sports and academic pursuits.   Past duties have included PTO treasurer, soccer coach, Destination Imagination team manager and program advocate, 5th Grade activities committee chair (Hastings), BOKS co-coach, Families and Fire trucks event coordinator and Employee Activities Committee (family activities chair).  I’m a Finance professional and would love to use my background to serve the Principal in identifying and earmarking funding to meet the high educational standards of our Middle School.  I would also be a strong advocate for enrichment opportunities, where I’ve partnered in the past with companies to provide materials, mentoring and financial support.

Jayshree Rajamani

I am an 18 year resident of Lexington.  I have a child currently at Hastings elementary school who will be starting at Diamond this Fall!  I have a Master’s degree in Mass Communication and have worked in documentary film for many years in Boston.  I also have a dance school in Lexington that I have run for the last 30 years.

Over the years I have provided my services working as a Co-Chair of the Arts Committee at Hastings for two years and volunteering at the school in several other roles.  I have also been active in many town events such as the 300th Year Celebrations, the Cary Library, Munroe Center for the Arts, Senior Center, IAL, Lexington Historical Society, Shishu Bharathi School to name just a few.

I have worked and collaborated with a wide network of diverse Lexington residents.  Hence I have a good finger on the pulse of the school community.  This will give me an advantage when discussing issues of concern for the Site Council.  As a teacher myself, I see the importance of opening the minds of our children towards acceptance and respect for all cultural and social differences.  This will help foster a generation of responsible and compassionate citizens.

If I’m lucky enough to be elected, I promise to do my best to ensure a strong voice for the Diamond community!

Deepika Sawhney

Hello! I am the parent of current 6th and 8th graders at Diamond. In addition to being a current Site Council member, I have served as a coach for Diamond’s Science Bowl team, Science Olympiad team and past co-chair for the Got Steam Fair. The Science Bowl and Got STEAM are new initiatives begun to satisfy the students’ wish for additional STEM activities. 

In addition, I am a grants committee member for a nonprofit group which awards funds to educational programs in underserved communities of Boston, Lawrence and Lowell, and volunteer at a middle school in Dorchester and now Lawrence as well. At Fiske I had served as the PTO President and on various other committees.

Diamond has a wonderful community of staff, students and parents. At our Site Council meetings we have provided the administration with feedback and advice which is in the best interests of our community. I hope to continue to do so for the next term.

PK Shiu

Growing up in a family of educators, I believe good teachers and schools are key to any child’s success. As a director of engineering at an edTech and publishing company, I see how over 4 million K-8 students across the country learn and grow each school year in reading and math when they are given the right tools and environments.

Our family moved backed to Lexington specifically for the quality of our schools. When both of my children were at Fiske, I ran the science club after school, managed the PTO website, restarted Math night, and managed the PTO family directory. Now with Gabe at 7th grade, and Morgan at 6th, I coach the Diamond Science Olympiad team, organized the first STEAM fair, and rebuilt the PTA website.

I believe our school should be a safe place for our children to have fun and learn 21st century skills. I want to work with the school to bring modern educational practices to our classrooms, with self directed learning, blending science and art, to develop creative maker mindsets that will serve our children well.

Dan Strollo

I write today in pursuit of a 2017-2019 School Site Council position in hopes that I can continue to help Principal Turner with the various tasks presented to this committee over that time period.  I will have two children at Diamond next year, one at Hastings and another at LHS.  Having four children in Lexington Public Schools has provided us some great experiences and has helped guide me in my past roles on Site Councils.  Most recently I was co-chair with Principal Turner at Diamond and before that I was co-chair with Principal Lipsitz at Hastings. 

My approach to this role is very similar to how I approach life.  I like to solve problems and try to make sure that there’s some fun and humor included in the process.  This has served me well in past Site Councils and I know my wife is happy that I get to use my repetitive jokes on someone else for a change.

In addition to my site council experience, I have spent the majority of my professional career in sales/marketing management and more recently hold the position of Executive Director for an automobile safety related nonprofit.  Prior to all this professional nonsense, I experienced Diamond first hand back in the early 80’s as I attended then Diamond Junior High School from 7th to 9th grades.  It is my hope that my time can be used to help Diamond continue to be the amazing institution it is and that I also work off any debt owed for the various shenanigans I may (or may not) have been involved in under its roof “back in the day.”

Thank you for your consideration.