QV Strong Endorsement:
Region 2: Bell Acres, Leet, Leetsdale
Ardent Community Defender Gianni Floro is Passionate About Serving QV Families
QV Dad, alum, attorney and coach Gianni Floro is running for reelection to represent Region 1 on the Quaker Valley School Board. Before he appears on the ballot Nov. 7, we sat down with Gianni to get to know more about him and what he continues to offer our district.
Q: Can you share a little bit about yourself?
I’m a first-generation Italian-American, who grew up in the Village and was really shaped by the sense of community that I experienced growing up here. I attended QV Schools, and also spent a few years at St. James. I had a wonderful experience at QV, active with science clubs and the musicals. I had a great set of teachers and mentors that really set the stage for me to be successful. I went on to Duquesne University, where I got a bachelor’s and eventually a master’sin environmental sciences management, then stayed for law school. After getting my law degree, I became a civil litigator, which has included work protecting people’s water rights in West Virgina and Southwestern Pennsylvania. I met my wife, Lisa, while in law school, and we have two children – one a 2022 QV grad and one a sophomore at QVHS.
Q: What has kept you in Quaker Valley?
My wife and I knew we both wanted children, and she had been to this community and fell in love with it too. Plus, I still had so much family here. We purchased a home in Quaker Heights, completely renovated it, and had our first child in 2004 and then a second in 2007. It’s just been a great experience for us here.
Q: As a parent, what has your experience been with our district?
The schools have been wonderful – the teachers, the co-curricular activities available to our kids, the specialized services. What’s amazing is how the district really cares for our students. I don’t think people realized just how much attention our students get when they enter the doors of QV, including very robust early interventions. As a parent in the district, I have felt the teachers have always been fair with my kids. I think that’s important, and it’s important for our community to be fair with our teachers and our administrators because they are here to help.
Q: You’ve been on the school board for a number of years. Why do you want to keep serving?
I want to keep serving because I understand the importance of letting educators educate. There are a lot of people with agendas who want to drive what is being taught in our schools, who are not educational experts. I don’t have a teaching certificate, and for me, the important thing is to provide support to our administrators and teachers. I am also a strong proponent of our community. I want our community to continue to flourish, and I understand the importance of strong schools to a vibrant community. If we cut back on our schools, if we don’t provide robust educational opportunities to our children, our community will go by the wayside.Finally, I am running to see the high school project through. I have been involved in the renovation of both elementary schools, the middle school, and, now as chair of the Facilities Committee, I want to see this project through to completion.
Q: What makes you uniquely qualified to be a board member?
I am trained as an attorney to see things from multiple angles and appropriately analyze situations. I think my scientific background lends to that as well. We can’t just make decisions blindly based on emotion. That’s not the role of a school board member. The role of a school board member is to really use the tools that are available to us, to do our due diligence, to investigate, to engage experts. And we’ve been able to do that and be successful in this district, while being financially conservative. We are a small school district, which receives minimal state and federal funding, but we offer a curriculum that really has something for everyone – from incredible education for students in skilled trades to our Advance Placement classes. I also understand the budgeting process and the fiscal realities of our district. Even with the most fiscally conservative approach, our operating budgets increase each year to accommodate cost of living increases and inflation. Anyone saying they can cut taxes, reduce the budget and support teachers properly clearly doesn’t understand how our budgeting works. I think the other skill I have is empathy. I truly want to help students and families. We’ve beenable to do a lot of good work in that from our Peer Jury program to bringing in a community youth worker. We want students to know we are here for them; they are a key part of our Quaker Valley Community. I’m also an ardent defender of our community.
Q: What are your hopes and fears for QV?
My big hope for Quaker Valley is that we continue to thrive as a community in the 11 municipalities that we serve. We are a relatively small school district with a bunch of big fish swimming around us. My big fear would be for QV to be sucked into another district. I wouldn’t want us to be a part of North Allegheny or Moon Township. I think what we do here works – we are an appropriately sized district for the community we serve. Contrary to public belief, we are a very diverse community socio-economically, and as a small school district we are able to serve that diverse population well. But my biggest hope is that this district can maintain its integrity.
Q: What else should people know about you?
As public servants, our focus should be on how we can make things better. How you serve the community is by having good discussions with people, and trying to find common ground.
A Community Leader
A QV grad with deep roots in this community, Gianni, 51, is fully invested in continuing his work for Quaker Valley School District. He is an active QV parent— his daughter currently attends QVHS and his son is a recent graduate, currently enrolled at Allegheny College. Gianni, a youth coach for years, also oversees the maintenance of the James Bouchard Park in Bell Acres. He served as safety officer for QV Youth Football and Cheer. Gianni is a proud parent supporter of Quaker Valley youth athletics, the Race for Education, and other co-curricular activities. He and is wife, Lisa, are proud champions of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
As chair of the Facilities and Operations Committee, Gianni has overseen multiple QV school renovations and brings an irreplaceable depth of project-based knowledge that the board cannot afford to lose at this critical juncture in the final stages of the high school’s development.
Gianni has concrete ideas on how to build on the existing excellence of the Quaker Valley schools.
Continue to expand the pathways offered to QV kids to succeed after graduation— whether that is college, the skilled trades, vocational, and STEM education.
Enhance and continually improve special education and gifted programs.
Promote fiscally responsible budgets. Continue to scrutinize the high school plan for savings and protect taxpayers and seniors on fixed incomes.
Regularly review safety procedures and security systems to keep students and teachers safe.
Keep book bans and politics out of our schools — from the left or the right.
Gianni Floro is 100% committed to Quaker Valley and, through years of thankless volunteer service on behalf of our community’s kids, is the only choice for Region 1.
Even if you do not live in Region 1, please encourage your friends and family living in Leetsdale, Bell Acres, Fair Oaks, and Leet to vote for Gianni on November 7.