I am not a very political person, but find I must speak out in favor of Anna Sterne’s bid for election to the state assembly. My family’s story is unique, but we are only one of many families who have been touched in a positive way by Anna Sterne.
My wife and I moved our family to Irvington / Dobbs Ferry in the 1996, when our daughter Olivia was 4 years old. At the time Dobbs Ferry school district was shipping its autistic students to other district with “programs”, such as nearby Ardsley. We tried that with Olivia, but after a year, felt like second hand citizens in the Ardsley school district. When we decided to send Olivia to a “better” school for autistic kids, again, Dobbs Ferry was willing to send her off. We sent Liv to a private school for two years. The expense to Dobbs Ferry was enormous and we were happy at the time. However, our hope was really to have Olivia more integrated with the “regular” kids in our community. Here is where Anna made the most amazing impact on my daughter’s life.
As part of the PTSA, my wife Carey was introduced to Anna (who was president of the group). Carey discussed our daughter’s situation with Anna, who strongly encouraged us to be unafraid to demand that Olivia be included in the regular school program. Anna gave Carey the confidence in pressing the school to accept Olivia and to place her in with the regular kids. This was a wonderful turning point not just for Olivia (who has done amazingly well at school) but for our school district as a whole. Initially, as Olivia pressed on through elementary and middle school, and now as she moves through high school and beyond, Anna has been a trusted advisor helping us and the district to make the right choices in Olivia’s education.
As president of the PTSA and later as president of the Dobbs Ferry School Board, Anna’s efforts not only benefitted my daughter, but many kids and families in the area.
When my wife passed away last Summer, one of the first calls I received was from Anna, promising to help me continue to guide Olivia’s future. She has done so, helping me begin to plan for Olivia’s transition to greater independence and a productive adult life.
Please consider who you want representing you and your community in Albany. I have, and I am supporting Anna Sterne 100%. Join me in helping Anna to continue her service to our community.
Irvington, New York, June 2010