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Bowers-Pierce throws her hat in Buffalo School Board ring

Patricia (Patti) Bowers-Pierce is one running for Buffalo School Board At-Large position in the May 6 election.

BY: Catherine Miller | April 18, 2014

SOUTH BUFFALO - South Buffalo’s own Patricia “Patti” Bowers-Pierce will be one of the many candidates vying for the three at-large Buffalo School Board seats up for election this May. 

An alumnus of St. Thomas Aquinas and Mount Mercy Academy, Bowers-Pierce is a South Buffalo resident and has a true allegiance to the community, a strong background in law enforcement and, if elected, plans to bring the benefit of her experience as a peace officer to the school board.

As a past detective with the Buffalo Police Department, former Chief with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department and presently an investigator in the domestic violence unit with the District Attorney’s Office, Bowers-Pierce has worked on task force departments aimed at halting criminal gang activity, curbing domestic violence, and bringing peace and order to situations including family matters involving innocent children.

Her commitment to the education of youth stems from interacting with youths throughout her years in law enforcement, many of who were in the midst of horrific circumstances.

Bowers-Pierce would watch the domestic violence unfold, remove children from dire situations and think to herself “these kids have to go to school tomorrow, pull out a pencil and notebook, and act as if everything is ok - and that’s not ok.”

“I believe that one caring adult can make the difference between success and failure in the life of a child,” states Patti Bowers-Pierce. And she is hoping to be that one caring adult – or at least one of them – on the Buffalo School Board.

According to Bowers-Pierce, truancy is the first indication that there is something wrong at home, and that issue needs to be addressed by someone other than teachers.

“Teachers should not be attendance officers,” states Bowers-Pierce, “but someone needs to go into the houses of children with truancy issues and find out what is happening. There may be substance abuse issues, or violence - but it may just a language barrier or other circumstance that can be differently addressed. There may be resources already in place that can help families address issues once they are identified. Alleviating one issue won’t resolve everything, but it’s a start.”

Bowers-Pierce understands the commitment that it takes to work within the school board in a way that is both productive and proactive. She has hosted anti-violence assemblies at various schools, and was the Chief of Violence Prevention Education with the Erie County Sheriff’s Department. She has a strong desire to help children whom she deems the “most affected” by domestic violence and family issues.

“I’ve recently had the opportunity to visit the Hamlin School in Buffalo,” stated Bowers-Pierce, “It was wonderful. Hamlin is considered a “failing school” yet the inside of the school was lovely. I read to a classroom of students that sat quietly and absorbed everything. The teacher, Mrs. Fitzgerald, and I walked through the halls and were greeted by many students with hugs and excited hellos.” Bowers-Pierce expressed how many teachers pour their hearts into their jobs – but the teachers need assistance.

“We need to address where the issues lie at home, so that we can find avenues already in place that can help them,” expressed Bowers-Pierce. “At the end of the day it is about doing the right thing for the children. It’s about improving graduation rates, improving student achievement, and watching out for the betterment of the kids overall.”

Bowers-Pierce has respect for many of the current board members and believes that her law enforcement background would be a great asset to the strengths that other members bring to the board.

“I look forward to the opportunity to work with Jason McCarthy, Carl Paladino and Jim Sampson,” states Bowers-Pierce, “I am not personally acquainted with any of the other current members, but welcome the opportunity to meet with them.”

Along with Bowers-Pierce citizens in Buffalo are in the fortunate position of having a number of qualified candidates running for this year’s school board election. Other candidates for the at-large board positions include Stephen Buccilli, Samuel Davis, Adrian Harris, Ralph Hernandez, John Licata, Byron J. McIntyre, Wendy Mistretta, Larry Quinn, Daniel Rockwitz Reynolds, Sergio Rodriguez, Barbara Seals-Nevergold, Gizelle Stokes, Bernard Tolbert, and Stephon Wright.

The Tuesday, May 6 election will place three of the current candidates in the at-large seats for a term of five years.

The Metro Source welcomes interview with all candidates. Interested candidates should contact Managing Editor Matthew Ondesko at mondesko@metrowny.com for further information.

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