Kings Park Board of Education incumbents Charlie Leo and Diane Nally said they will seek another term on the board, while newcomer Kevin Johnston threw his hat into the race with hopes of snagging a seat after the May 19 election.
Leo, who serves on the board as vice president, said he was seeking another term because of a pleasant experience with the district, and to make time to tackle several different issues in another term.
One of his goals is to bring tablets into the school, which he said would reduce costs by going paperless. He also would like to work on reducing class size throughout the district, he said.
“I am running for re-election because I see that it matters,” Leo said. “Local government is very important and there is still work to be done.”
One of the heated issues that has been brought up at board meetings over the last few weeks has been the voice parents feel the board is lacking when it comes to standardized testing.
Leo said he fully supports the district parents’ right to opt their children out of the English Language Arts, science and math standardized tests that come from the state Education Department.
“It’s a parent’s choice to opt out,” Leo said.
Nally has held the position of trustee for three years and is seeking re-election to take on some unfinished business, she said.
“I am seeking re-election because it has been a pleasure serving the Kings Park community as a trustee,” Nally said. “We have a great district and community.”
The trustee has been very vocal about the need for a librarian at the district’s two elementary schools. Currently, there is no librarian at Park View and Fort Salonga elementary schools and that is something Nally would like to change.
“There are many issues that still need to be resolved,” Nally said. “I would like to be a part of that. I have a lot to offer.”
Nally said there are many issues with public education and she would like to be an advocate for the district if re-elected. She also said she would like to tackle lowering class size on the elementary and secondary levels.
Johnston is currently a teacher at Kings Park High School and is hoping to gain a seat on the board this summer.
The English teacher is retiring in June and said he is hoping to take his newfound time and put it toward helping the community by serving on the board.
“I still want to put out the best education while recognizing the ability of the community to fund this education,” Johnston said.
Johnston said he has inside experience that he can bring to the board as he not only lives in the community but also taught within the district for 34 years.
If elected, he said he would like to work on technology improvements and lowering class size. He also said he would look for other sources of funding including an alumni committee and grant funding.
“I understand the need to raise the high bar in education for college readiness,” Johnston said. “As a board member I feel I can have a stronger voice in promoting Kings Park education.”
The father of two Kings Park High School graduates said the district does a very good job educating students but he believes “we can do a better job if I’m on the school board.”