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Name: Cameron L. Preston
Address: Craig Street, McKeesport
Filed as: Republican/Democratic
Almanac: Why are you running for school board, and what are your qualifications?
Preston: As a lifelong resident and district alumnus, I feel it is my duty to step up in the community in which I reside. I have over 15 years of experience working in social services, both inside and outside of school settings.
Almanac: One constant question at board meetings has been about gun violence. Prior to this election, how have you addressed gun-related violence within the community?
Preston: On Jan. 23, 2023, my then-16-year-old son was critically shot while walking home from school. Prior to that incident, I have spoken at rallies against gun violence and attended many functions and events. But, since gun violence has made it directly to my doorstep, I believe now is the perfect time to step up.
Almanac: How do you rate the relationship between the school board, educators, students and families regarding incidents occurring outside of school?
Preston: I believe that said relationships need attention, and if elected, I plan to try and mend the gap.
Almanac: What steps can the school board take to ensure safety within schools?
Preston: Security is a major concern within the district.
Almanac: McKeesport Area has many students whose families are struggling economically and a large percentage of students who are from minority groups. How will you work to understand and meet their diverse needs?
Preston: By actually getting out in the community and encouraging citizens to attend school board meetings.
Almanac: What literacy challenges do McKeesport Area students face, and how would you address them?
Preston: Coming from an under-served community, I fully understand the literacy challenges; I have personally faced many obstacles because of low income. But again, I plan to actually ask the needs of the students.
Almanac: What is your opinion of the current math education curriculum, especially at the middle and high school level?
Preston: The current curriculum I find to be satisfactory in classroom-taught students. Online students seem to be met with more challenges.
Almanac: What is the role of music, arts, and social-studies education?
Preston: Diversity, culture and understanding/inclusion.
Almanac: Why do some parents choose not to send their children to McKeesport Area schools — and how can the district get them back?
Preston: Safety is one main concern — and transportation.
Almanac: As a board member, where would you look to make budget cuts? Are there any areas you would not consider cutting?
Preston: I would have to have a better knowledge and understanding of the budget to confidently answer this question.
Originally published May 14, 2023.