Meet Cynthia Shapley Zoccali

A leader who listens and acts

I am long-time resident of the Owen J. Roberts School District and come from a family of educators.  My late mother, Susan Shapley, was an English teacher in the district teaching at both the Middle School and High School, and my father, Dr. Robert Shapley, was a teacher and administrator for the West Chester Area School District, Owen J. Roberts School District and Haverford School district for many years. My choice to remain in the district to raise my children was based on the foundation of the quality education I received.   I would be honored to be elected to the school board and work with a team of leaders who are fully vested in providing outstanding academics within a safe and secure environment.


As a long-time resident of Chester County, I am a 1984 graduate of Owen J. Roberts High School and continued my education at Widener University.  My family and I have been residing in East Vincent Township since 1998, and I have three children (ages 25, 19 & 13).  All three of my children either have or will be graduates of this district.  My oldest, Christopher, is a graduate of Ursinus College with a degree in Health and Exercise Physiology, and my daughter, Rachel, is a sophomore education major at Temple University who will be studying in abroad in Rome this upcoming semester January. In addition to working full time, I also serve as a lay advocate for families navigating special education in the public schools with focus on IEPs (Individualized Education Plans), GIEPs (Gifted Individualized Education Plans), and 504s.

My Goals for the Owen J Roberts School District

According to the National School Board Association, the most important responsibility of a school board is to work with their communities to improve student achievement in their local schools.   My vision for the role of a school board member on the OJR school board is for the board to work as a team and truly understand the process of how a board should function.  Therefore, there MUST be transparency and fiscal responsibility within the district.  This can only be accomplished with an honest administration and school board working with and for the taxpayers of the district.
As a member of the School Board, I would like to focus on the special education policies to make certain the District is doing everything it possibly can to provide all the necessary supports for the students who need IEPs, GIEPs and 504s to thrive with the least restrictive environment.  While not all students have IEPs and/or individualized education plans, every student deserves to be treated as an individual whose education is able to move forward efficiently and effectively through an appropriate plan.
I feel the purpose of public education is to prepare students to become productive members of our society with the skills to support themselves and their families. Learning how to face and work through adversity is part of the process. Student learning should include coping skills that imbue students with the ability to handle a mistake without diminishing the drive for success.  The entire Owen J. Roberts School District community must work together as a team to accomplish quality public education within our district.
See you at the polls on November 5th!

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