Three candidates vie for two board of education seats in Kings Park

Three candidates vie for two board of education seats in Kings Park

Kings Park High School. Photo by Rita J. Egan

Three candidates vie for two open seats on the Kings Park school district board of education.

Registration will be held every Monday through Friday in the office of the district clerk, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The last day to register to vote is May 16.

If you are a resident of the district and are registered to vote with the Suffolk County Board of Elections, then you are automatically qualified to participate in the budget vote and trustee election. 

Pam Deford (incumbent) 

Deford has lived in Kings Park for the past 24 years and has a daughter who attends the district. Currently, Deford works as a second-grade teacher in the Northport-East Northport School District and has been an educator for 25 years. She has been a Girl Scout leader for the past five years and a member of the PFA at Kings Park High School. Deford is currently seeking re-election after serving the board for the past five years and has been board president for the past four. 

“I will continue to utilize my educational knowledge in advocating for the children of our community,” she said in a statement. “Under my leadership, I am proud of the work that was accomplished in establishing a legislative committee and a policy committee. I have a vested interest in ensuring our district is the very best it can be.”

Deford said as a board member she is a voice of the community and when planning the school budget, the board has to be fiscally responsible while meeting all the needs of our students.

Dan Tew (incumbent)

 Tew has lived in the district for the past 41 years with his wife Brenna and their three daughters. Tew is seeking re-election after spending three years on the board. He said his time on the board has taught him a lot about the budget process and the year-to-year constraints to put forth a balanced budget under the NYS tax cap. 

“Since my tenure we have been successful in doing such without having to sacrifice course offerings, athletic programs and extracurricular programs,” he said in a statement. “The district is very fortunate to have an excellent business office that works seamlessly with the superintendent and board of education.”

The Kings Park resident has been an active participant in the community volunteering with the Junior Achievement of New York and a member of the St. Joseph’s Parish 

Tew said being raised in Kings Park and raising my family gives him a great sense of pride. 

“Being an active participant in the community, my children’s lives and their classmates through various activities has given me a greater sense of Kings Park pride,” he said.  

Tew hopes to be able to continue this collaboration and serve the community as a fiscally responsible trustee. He stated what’s best for the students is best for the community. 

“The investment in our students is a great investment for the community,” he said. 

 JP Andrade

Andrade has been a  Kings Park resident all his life. He graduated from Kings Park High School in 2014. This is Andrade’s third time running for a board of education trustee seat. The most pressing issue facing the district, he said, is financial stability. 

 Currently, Andrade is finishing up his master’s degree at Hofstra University and is employed at Brentwood East Middle School as an assistant teacher and also coach for the boys lacrosse team. 

Andrade’s niece attends Fort Salonga Elementary and he said he’s actively involved in her education. Andrade stresses the importance of community service with all residents, especially young ones and students. He has volunteered at the Kings Park Heritage Museum and at the Kings Park Library.

“Many times over the past years, the board and community have been at a crossroads, so I want to help continue to ‘solidify a bridge’ with our elected officials at all levels,” he said in a statement. “As well as being the most transparent district on the island for our constituents.”

Andrade said his goal as a board member is to better serve students and give them the best tools to strive for greatness in the future. 

Before he began his career in education, he was involved in the political field working on President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team in New York City and for the advisory council at America First Policies.

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