Board of education candidate round-up

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West Islip

The West Islip UFSD has three board members whose terms are expiring on June 30, 2022. Current trustees Thomas Compitello and Peter McCann are seeking reelection.

Thomas Compitello (Incumbent)

I am running for reelection to the School board to maintain the quality educational services currently available to the students of the West Islip public Schools. As a retired Naval Officer I am acutely aware that the future of our nation rests with our rising citizenry who need to be well educated, technically proficient, and physically fit. The responsibility to achieve these goals rests in the school systems of West Islip.

Peter McCann (Incumbent)

I have lived in West Islip for over 50 years and this community, the school district and my church have given me the tools to be successful in life. Twenty five years ago, I committed myself to a life of service to my family, my faith and my community. Through many times in my life, this community has carried my family through tough times and celebrated over many good times. My volunteer work has allowed me to coach over 600 children in the town and be part of over 30 community and school groups. My only goal now is to provide the children the same opportunity I was given and to ensure they are protected and safe.

Claudia Worley

I chose to run to be the voice for the parents that begged and pleaded to get a response from our board and received nothing. I chose to run for the teachers that didn’t receive the support and praise they deserved after handling the complete transition to remote learning and guiding our children through an incredibly tough year. I chose to run for the community members that wanted a solution to our Masera property and waited over a year to have a committee formed. Our community deserves a fresh pair of eyes. A community member that has fought and will continue to fight for parental choice, parental and community involvement and teachers salaries.I hope our community trusts in me to do every single one of these things like I have been doing for the last year as an active member of this community. At the end of the day we are all West Islip Lions.

Kristin Calder

Calder decided to not submit a biography to the Islip Bulletin.

Valerie Rivera

After residing in the community for the past 16 years, I have decided to run for the Board of Education. In the previous two years, I felt as though the community wasn’t properly represented by our BOE. There were many residents who requested change, or a simple acknowledgement and felt as if their requests continued to fall on deaf ears. My mission is to stand up for our most prized possessions, our children. I look forward to engaging with the community and truly listening to the needs of the families in West Islip. I also look forward to working with and assessing the needs of our school district’s most valuable assets, our teachers. I plan to convey their shared message to my fellow board members, while achieving those common goals as a team.

As an elected trustee of the West Islip School District Board of Education, I promise to utilize our hard-earned tax dollars carefully and responsibly and in the most efficient and thoughtful manner possible. I assure you that our trio of candidates share that very same set of core values and vision, and as a team we will fight tirelessly for the rights of each and every member of the West Islip community.

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly did not submit a biography to the Islip Bulletin.

East Islip

There is one seat up election this year in the East Islip School District. Incumbent Joann Walsh did not seek re-election. The length of the term on the board is three years.

Rachel Ackerman

Rachel is running for East Islip School Board because she believes that the district needs a fresh, modern perspective that speaks to the struggles students face today and will face after they graduate. As a leader in the ever-growing tech industry, she has first-hand knowledge of what will prepare East Islip students for success. She is excited to reimagine the processes for students to access mental health resources and tackle inclusive hiring processes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on her community, and Rachel is certain the only way to navigate this shift is through relationships with our students, teachers, and community members. Rachel will be an enthusiastic and powerful voice, centering the student experience at all decisions.

Dominick Barbato

As a lifelong resident of East Islip, I am honored to run for the East Islip School Board for a few key reasons:

1. I want to see our community thrive. I know where this district has been, where it should be, and I plan to be that vibrant energy needed to get us there.

2. I have a deep desire to empower and impact tomorrows generations through my passion for education. Education is the offspring of inspiration. We must continually enhance our curriculum offerings to stay relevant in an ever-changing world.

3. I have a personal interest and desire to preserve and improve the quality of the East Islip school system from the inside out.

4. I have zero special interests, no political agenda, just a clear voice for all community members.

5. I plan to help guide the fiscal health of our district through various spending cutbacks, digital fundraising initiatives, and cutting wasteful spending. We must future-proof the community of East Islip.

Charles Kalinowski

I am running for our children, money and future. I ran for the East Islip BOE three years ago and received 47 percent of the vote. I was certified the winner of last year’s election, only to find out there was a tabulation error that invalidated what I considered a community victory. Win or lose, I will continue to support our district and community.

While attending over ninety percent of the BOE meetings, I have addressed the Board of Education on many occasions. By being well aware of my surroundings, I understand what the majority of our community members support, but more importantly, what they don’t! I embrace progress, while not forgetting where I came from. I believe that an effective BOE Trustee should promote honesty, integrity and responsibility. Just as we do for our own children.

If elected, I will continue to find unique and clever ways to save taxpayer dollars, without compromising what the district offers to our children today. I have the foresight and ingenuity to catapult the East Islip School District to be the barometer in which all other school districts aspire to be. While shrewdly allocating our hard earned cash for the unforeseeable future.

Timothy Sassone

Given the challenges of the pandemic, an enduring theme for my candidacy is to push for a return to normalcy and focus on mental and academic success as soon as possible. 

Priorities include thorough and appropriate spending of taxpayer money in order to reach the students directly.  A very important factor in  coming years will be maintaining the independence of East Islip schools against encroaching federal and state curriculum driven by political ideology.

Islip

There are two seats up for the Islip Board of Education this year with both incumbents seeking reelection. Kristin Presti and Matthew Clareen are running for the seat currently held by Clareen. Danielle Flora and Kristy Evans are running for the seat currently held by Danielle Flora.

Kristin Presti

After attending countless Board of Education meetings and being involved in many of the great events that the Islip UFSD has to offer, I have seen how great this school district is and how it continues to build upon itself. I would love to be part of the growth and development of our schools.

As a parent, I know that there is nothing more important than what we teach our children, how we teach our children and the opportunities we provide for them. I am committed to ensuring all students get the best education they can with as many personalized pathways as possible. Additionally, I recognize the need for parental involvement in educational and curricular decisions.

As a homeowner (and therefore property taxpayer), I am fiscally invested in our school budget. Acknowledging the needs of all taxpayers and ensuring that the school budget passes annually is of paramount importance. As a public school educator I can understand the importance of providing an education that is transparent, inclusive for all and free of political agenda.

I know that with my experiences, education, beliefs and prior knowledge, I can help Islip UFSD continue to be a school district that all graduates, students and homeowners are proud of.

Matthew Clareen (Incumbent)

Matthew Clareen noted that his experience and background will be invaluable to address the challenges ahead. Matthew’s top priorities include the critical post-pandemic social-emotional wellbeing support for students and staff. The current proposed budget includes an additional social worker, guidance counselors, and a full-time student support services advisor as a start.

Over the past few years, the district has spearheaded the Seven Habits character education

program and is currently working on growth mindset initiatives. However, more community partnerships and addressing parent concerns need to follow. Increased technology proficiency, evolving to a 1:1 device school, and integrating to the Google platform has begun in the district.

Funding additional professional development to build advanced users is an innovative key to unlocking student success. Recognizing the district’s rich and diverse student population, Mr. Clareen believes increased efforts to hire highly qualified staff who reflect our community and who will collaborate well with our parents is essential. Inclusive classrooms where all students and staff can be seen, heard, and succeed, is an ongoing goal. In addition, the district is currently focused on planning for future infrastructure projects and other capital works which will need to be completed. Finally, through dedicated and steadfast instructional leaders, Islip Public Schools is investing in significant curriculum opportunities for student success. On that note, Mr. Clareen would like the district to continue to foster partnerships between colleges and vocational programs which provide students with challenging coursework and the potential to earn college credits or work experience prior to graduation.

Danielle Flora (Incumbent)

As a lifelong resident of Islip, and a two-term Board of Education Trustee, I humbly seek your re-election for a third term. I originally sought a seat on the school board because I believe parents deserve a seat at the table and should be integral to the decision-making process. After serving on the Board of Education for the last six years, I have reaffirmed this belief, and know parents’ voices and community involvement are more important than ever. In addition to bringing the voice, empathy and love of a parent, I bring, as a certified school counselor, the knowledge of an educator. Additionally, I have the perspective of a taxpayer who wants the best for our children while remaining conscious of the financial challenges facing many of us.

Kristy Evans

My efforts as a board member would center on educational equity for all, closing the achievement gap and ensuring all voices are heard. I would like to help create necessary opportunities for every student to reach their full potential, through accommodations, vocational programs and offering more advanced courses options in elementary through high school. I am

committed to a vision of high expectations for student achievement. I would advocate for the consistency necessary in our leadership to keep the district successful and competitive. We have tremendous teachers and staff working with our children; however we have had a high rate of turnover of administrators. I am committed to attracting the best people and keeping

them here long term. Communication is crucial. Through public discourse and transparency, I would keep the public informed of the district’s progress, be responsive to parents, staff, students and the community, while encouraging open, respectful dialogue.

Bay Shore

Incumbent Andrew Arcuri is running unopposed.

Andrew Arcuri

Bay Shore is a District that families want to come to, in part because of the reputation of our schools. I am committed to maintain the high standard of excellence that exists in our schools; and to do so in a cost-efficient manner. It is an honor and a privilege to get to serve the community for another 3 years.

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