By Victoria Espinoza
Three incumbents are up for re-election on the Northport-East Northport board of education and are defending their seats against two challengers.
Shawne Albero, one of the five contenders, has been in the Northport community for the past six years and has been involved with both the Northport Middle School Parent Teacher Association and the Special Education PTA.
“We need a fresh perspective to help further utilize the talents of our community,” Albero said.
She said she is an advocate for providing students with more detailed report cards that give further insight into a student’s mastery of each academic subject.
Albero said, if elected, she would work to bring in more state and federal aid to help provide more programs and opportunities for students.
Allison Noonan, a social studies teacher in Syosset school district, is another resident making her first run at a seat. She is involved in the PTA and SEPTA, and believes her newcomer status is exactly why she is the right choice for the job.
“I am not a part of the board that supported a failed administrator,” Noonan said of former Northport-East Northport Superintendent Marylou McDermott.
She said under McDermott’s tenure, district facilities, like the athletic fields, bathrooms and classrooms, fell into disrepair, and she would work to fix those problems.
One of the incumbents, Julia Binger, is seeking her third term, after first winning her seat in July 2010. She has previously served on the board’s audit committee and as its president. She said among her proudest accomplishments on the board is recruiting the school’s new superintendent, Robert Banzer.
“I think we came up with a really excellent candidate that I am very pleased with,” she said.
She is also proud of the budgets she has helped shape, which she said maintain a healthy funding reserve for the district.
Trustee Lori McCue is also hoping for a third term on the board. She has worked with the Ocean Avenue Elementary School and Northport Middle School PTAs, and has volunteered with the Northport Relay For Life event.
McCue said she was the lead trustee on the district’s energy performance contract, which will result in $13 million in future capital improvements for the district, including upgrading fixtures to LED lighting and other improvements that will make buildings more energy efficient.
McCue is also the chairperson of the audit committee and a member of the policy committee.
“We have worked to have nearly every policy online in an easy format,” McCue said in a phone interview about her work on the policy committee.
Current board President Andrew Rapiejko is finishing his sixth year on the board and wants to continue to serve the district.
Like Binger, he is proud of his work in the search to find a new leader for the district.
“Hiring the superintendent, who’s done a tremendous job this year, was a big accomplishment,” Rapiejko said in a phone interview. “Being able to sort through the applicants and choose someone who’s the right fit was a challenge.”
Rapiejko said it is important for Banzer to have experienced people with him while he transitions to his second year at the helm.
The current president once served as chairman of the audit committee.