School Board Elections

Port Jefferson School District

Budget passed ($46.1 million) 

Yes: 642

No:  165

Proposition 2 passed

Yes: 673

No:  130

School board election:

Randi DeWitt:  563*

Ellen Boehm:   550*

Paul Ryan:      267

(reelected *)

Comsewogue Union Free School District

Budget passed ($102.1 million)

Yes: 998

No:  427

School board election:

Robert DeStefano:            921*

Francisca Alabau-Blatter: 655*

Joseph Borruso:               457

Gary Bodenburg:              344

Meghan Puleo:                 258

(reelected *) 

Pixabay photo

Along the North Shore of the Town of Huntington, the majority of residents who turned out to vote May 17 in school elections approved their district’s budgets. They also voted incumbents back in to retain their seats on the boards of education, except in Cold Spring Harbor.

Cold Spring Harbor Central School District

Cold Spring Harbor school district residents passed a $73,420,423 budget, 817 to 276. The budget reflects a $1,403,005 increase from the 2021-22 budget of $72,017,418 and reflects a 1.64% tax levy which is below the cap.

Incumbent and current president Amelia Walsh Brogan lost her seat with 496 votes. Incumbent Julie Starrett did not seek reelection.

Alex Whelehan, 888 votes, and Bruce Sullivan, 648, will be joining the board as new trustees.

Commack Union Free School District

The $ 214,645,326 budget for 2022-23 was passed with 2,392 votes. There were 815 who voted “no.” Proposition 2 to decrease transportation limits in grades three through five from 1/2 mile to a 1/4 mile was also passed, 2,376 to 814.

The budget for next academic year is an increase of 4.64% over last year. This will result in a tax levy increase of 1.95%, under the tax cap of 3.82%. This includes a state aid package of $43 million.

Incumbents Steven Hartman and Justin Varughese retained their seats with 2,277 and 2,247 votes, respectively. Newcomers Pauline Fidalgo received 877 and Christopher Jurkovic 893.

Elwood Union Free School District

The $69,181,071 budget for the new academic year was passed in Elwood, 804 to 396. The dollar amount reflects a $2,267,492 increase and 3.39% increase over the previous budget of $66,913,579. The budget represents a tax levy increase of 2.9% which is under the district’s allowable tax levy of 3.4%.

Incumbent Deborah Weiss retains her seat with 965 votes. Local student Sean Camas received 183 votes

Harborfields Central School District

In Harborfields, residents approved the $92,895,995 budget, 1,655-353. The budget is $2,579,731 more than the 2021-22 budget of $90,316,264, which comes to a 2.86% increase. The budget is within the district’s allowed tax levy increase of 2.28%.

Incumbents Hansen Lee and Colleen Wolcott retained their seats with 1,490 and 1,530 votes, respectively. Challenger David Balistreri received 603 votes.

Huntington Union Free School District

The $142,968,343 Huntington school district budget passed with 834 “yes” votes and 150 voters saying “no.” The approved budget will be an increase of 2.62% over the current spending plan. However, it does not raise the tax levy. According to the district’s website, the lack of an increase to the tax levy is due to a $4,087,007 increase in state aid to $26,253,748, low debt and the district lessening expenditures.

Two capital reserve propositions passed, 860-117 and 854-124.

Incumbents Bill Dwyer and Michele Kustera ran unopposed with 823 and 838 votes, respectively.

Northport-East Northport Union Free School District

Residents approved the $177,856,084 Northport-East Northport budget, 2,285-1,674. They also passed proposition 2, by 2,983-958, to authorize $5,694,660 to be used for building projects including HVAC renovations, asbestos abatement and replacement of bleachers at Northport High School.

The approved budget represents a budget-to-budget increase of 1.81%. The tax levy increase is 0.61%, which involves an additional sum to average taxpayers of $49.79. 

Incumbents Larry Licopoli, Allison Noonan and Thomas Loughran retained their seats on the board with 2,528, 2,676 and 2,729 votes, respectively. Challenger Frank Labate received 1,754.

Town of Smithtown residents who turned out to vote in school elections May 17 approved their district’s budgets. They also voted incumbents back in to retain their seats on the boards of education.

Commack Union Free School District

The $ 214,645,326 budget for 2022-23 was passed with 2,392 votes. There were 815 who voted “no.” Proposition 2 to decrease transportation limits in grades three through five from 1/2 mile to a 1/4 mile was also passed, 2,376 to 814.

The budget for next academic year is an increase of 4.64% over last year. This will result in a tax levy increase of 1.95%, under the tax cap of 3.82%. This includes a state aid package of $43 million.

Incumbents Steven Hartman and Justin Varughese retained their seats with 2,277 and 2,247 votes, respectively. Newcomers Pauline Fidalgo received 877 and Christopher Jurkovic 893.

Hauppauge Union Free School District

Hauppauge residents passed the $123,913,904 budget, 639-300. The budget reflects a 3.29% increase over last year and a 1.22% tax levy increase.

Three candidates ran for three seats, incumbent and board vice president Rob Scarito, 617; Michael Buscarino, 651; and incumbent and current board president David Barshay, 624.

Kings Park Central School District

The Kings Park $102.24 million budget was approved by voters, 2,229 to 1,125. The budget is an increase of 1.94% over last year. This will result in a 2.99% tax levy increase, or $23.39 more per year for the average taxpayer.

Trustees Pam DeFord and Dan Tew did not seek reelection, leaving two seats up for election. Patrick Hanley, 1,879 votes, and Shala Pascucci, 1,737, will be the new board trustees beginning July 1. They defeated Jaime Lelle, 1,529, and Douglas Cerrato, 1,490.

Smithtown Central School District

Smithtown school district residents approved the $267,786,882 budget, 5,250 to 2,241. The 2022-23 budget reflects a dollar change of $5,467,217 from last year’s budget of $262,319,665. The tax levy is 1.2% and is below the district’s allowable tax levy.

Proposition 2, establishing a capital reserve, passed 5,249 to 2,241. 

Michael Catalanotto and Michael Saidens won back their seats, with 4,582 and 4,590 votes, respectively. This will be the second term for Catalanotto and the third for Saidens.

Charles Fisher, who challenged Catalanotto for his seat received 3,201 votes, and Angela Kouvel, who challenged Saidens, received 3,157.

In a joint statement sent May 18, Catalanotto and Saidens thanked Smithtown voters “for putting your confidence and trust in us.”

“We are honored to be reelected with nearly 60% of the vote,” they said. “The parents and residents had a choice to make, and voted to keep Smithtown schools great, support all of our students and protect our property values. People were fed up with our children being used as political footballs, and roundly rejected efforts to destabilize our schools. We couldn’t be prouder of the hard work our teachers, administrators and staff do, each and every day, in running a world-class school district and they will continue to have our strong support.”

File photo by Greg Catalano

After turning down last year’s budget, Three Village Central School District residents said “yes” to the 2022-23 budget of $224,060,618.

The votes were close with 2,584 approving the budget and 2,518 voting “no.”

The new budget is $3,798,183 more than last year’s contingency budget of $220,262,435, reflecting a 1.72% increase. The proposed tax levy is $164,954,877.

Four candidates vied for two seats in this year’s race. Town of Brookhaven Councilmember Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook) did not run for reelection after serving on the board since 2008.

Incumbent Vincent Vizzo and his running mate Jennifer Solomon won with 2,715 and 2,650 votes, respectively. Reanna Fulton received 2,283 of the votes and Evan Proios 2,122.

For Vizzo, a 34-year veteran of the school district, it will be his second term on the board. He has been both a teacher and administrator in Three Village and a few years ago retired as principal of R.C. Murphy Jr. High School. As someone who has worked, lived in the district and also raised children in Three Village, he said he decided to run again because the community is “his life.”

In a May 18 email, Vizzo thanked community members for their support.

“I want their children to have the same excellent education that our children had in Three Village schools,” he said. “Once again ‘thank you,’ and I will work my hardest over the next three years.”

Jennifer Solomon

He added, “I am excited to be working with my dear former student and good friend Jen. She will be an asset to our board of education. A special thanks to Reanna and Evan for running for the board.” 

Solomon, a former graduate of Three Village schools, who is raising four children in the district, ran for the first time. She has worked as a bilingual speech language pathologist in the Riverhead Central School District and is now an administrator in the Riverhead district.

Solomon said she was relieved when she heard she won.

“Last night a majority of voters, not only in Three Village, but across Long Island, affirmed that our public schools belong to all of us,” she said. “Still, there is a lot of work to be done to demonstrate how equitable and inclusive practices support students’ learning outcomes and add value to our school district. I’m looking forward to serving the community, and I am ready to do the work.”

Trustee terms begin July 1 and are for three years.

North Shore residents stopped by their local polling places throughout the day May 17 to vote on school budgets and for board of education members.

Winning candidates are in bold.

This story will be updated as more results come in. Last updated May 18 at 11:33 a.m.

Commack Union Free School District

$ 214,645,326 budget passed

Yes – 2,392

No – 815

Proposition 2 to decrease transportation limits in grades 3 through 5 from ½ mile to a ¼ mile, passed

Yes – 2,376

No – 814

Candidates, two seats 

Steven Hartman – 2,277

Pauline Fidalgo – 877

Justin Varughese – 2,247

Christopher Jurkovic – 893

Comsewogue Union Free School District

The budget passed.

Yes – 998

No – 427

Robert DeStefano and Francisca Alabau-Blatter both elected for three-year terms. 

Cold Spring Harbor Central School District

$73,420,423 budget passed

Yes – 817

No – 276

Candidates, two seats

Amelia Walsh Brogan – 496

Alex Whelehan – 888

Bruce Sullivan – 648

Elwood Union Free School District

$69,181,071 budget passed

Yes – 804

No – 396

Candidates, one seat

Deborah Weiss – 965

Sean Camas – 183

Harborfields Central School District

$92,895,995 budget passed

Yes – 1,655

No – 353

Candidates, two seats

Hansen Lee – 1,490 votes

Colleen Wolcott – 1,530

David Balistreri – 603

Hauppauge Union Free School District

$123,913,904 budget passed

Yes – 639

No – 300

Candidates, three candidates

Rob Scarito – 624

Michael Buscarino -651

David Barshay- 617

Huntington Union Free School District

$142,968,343 budget passed

Yes – 834

No – 150

Candidates, two seats, incumbents unopposed

Bill Dwyer- 823

Michele Kustera- 838

Kings Park Central School District

$102.24 million budget passed

Yes – 2,229

No – 1,125

Candidates, two seats

Patrick Hanley – 1,879

Shala Pascucci – 1,737

Jaime Lelle – 1,529

Douglas Cerrato- 1,490.

Middle Country Central School District

The budget passed.

Yes – 2,036

No – 946

Robert Hallock – 1,500
Kristopher Oliva (Incumbent) – 1,452
Denise Haggerty (Incumbent) – 1,518
Leah Fitzpatrick – 1,440
Robert Feeney (Incumbent) – 1,513
Tifanny Lorusso – 1,434
Dawn Sharrock (Incumbent) – 1,481
Kimberly Crawford-Arbocus – 1,471

Miller Place School District

The budget passed. 

Yes – 1,394

No – 503

Proposition 2 (library budget) passed.

Yes – 1,590

No – 310

CORRECTION: It was originally misreported that Andrea Spaniolas received 628 votes. Spaniolas actually received 924 votes. 

Keith Frank – 830

Johanna Testa – 990

Andrea Spaniolas – 924

Jennifer Andersen-Oldenskov – 616

Kenneth Conway – 743

John Galligan – 625

Jenna Stingo – 782

Mount Sinai School District

 

Northport-East Northport Union Free School District

$177,856,084, budget passed

Yes – 2,285

 No- 1,674

 Proposition #2: Capital Expenditures: Passed

Candidates, three seats

Larry Licopoli – 2,528

Allison Noonan – 2,676

Thomas Loughran – 2,729

Frank Labate – 1,754

Port Jefferson School District

Budget passed: Yes – 642; No – 165
Proposition #2: Yes 673; No 130

Ellen Boehm – 550
Randi DeWitt – 563

Paul Ryan – 267

Rocky Point Union Free School District

Budget passed.

Yes – 1,017
No – 322

Proposition 2 – Capital Reserve
– 1,063 Yes
– 267 No

Susan Sullivan – 595 –  3yr term
Erin Walsh – 515 –  1yr term
Nick Contes – 514
Nicole Kelly – 485
Jason Ford – 221
Susan Wilson – 258

Shoreham-Wading River Central School District

Budget passed. 

Yes – 625

No – 167

Proposition #2

Yes – 652

No – 139

Tom Sheridan – 659

Meghan Tepfenhardt – 638

14 Write-in candidates received less than five votes each

Smithtown Central School District

$267,786,882 budget passed

Yes – 5,250

No – 2,241

Candidates, two seats

Michael Catalanotto – 4,582

Michael Saidens – 4,590

Charles Fisher – 3,201 votes

Angela Kouvel – 3,157.

Three Village Central School District

$224,060,618 budget passed

Yes – 2,584

No – 2,518

Candidates, two seats

Vincent Vizzo – 2,715

Jennifer Solomon – 2,650  

Reanna Fulton – 2,283

Evan Proios –2,122

 

Newfield High School, above, will serve as one of the polling sites for this year’s school budget and board of education elections. File photo

Tomorrow, residents of the Middle Country Central School District will have the opportunity to weigh in on the future of their local schools.

On Tuesday, May 17, the district will hold its school budget vote and trustee election in the new gymnasiums at both Centereach and Newfield high schools from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The district’s proposed budget of $274,944,707 is up $5,863,749 from the previous year. According to the district’s planning presentation, the stated objective of this year’s budget is to “preserve the pre-K through grade 12 comprehensive program that is currently in place to ensure that students have the opportunities, resources and supports to successfully involve themselves in schooling and extracurricular activities so that they meet the expectations described in the Middle Country mission statement, and to do so by staying within the allowable tax levy cap.”

Centereach High School will serve as the other polling location. File photo

In the process of preparing this year’s annual budget, the district encountered a number of challenges related to increasing costs, decreasing state aid and declining district reserve balances. Homeowners will see an estimated tax levy increase of 3.10%, which approximates to a $177 increase per household. 

Voters will be asked to elect four trustees. Incumbent Robert Feeney is being challenged by Tiffany Lorusso; incumbent Kristopher Oliva by Robert Hallock; incumbent Dawn Sharrock by Kimberly Crawford-Arbocus; and incumbent Denise Haggerty by Leah Fitzpatrick for a remaining two-year term.

North Country Road Middle School will serve as the polling site for this year budget and school board elections. File photo

Miller Place school district will be holding its budget vote and board of education elections this Tuesday.

The proposed budget for 2022-23 is $77,670,225, a 1.5% increase.  

Incumbents Johanna Testa, BOE president, and trustee Keith Frank are being challenged by Jennifer Andersen-Oldenskov, Kenneth Conway, John Galligan, Jennifer Keller, Andrea Spaniolas and Jenna Stingo.

In this at-large vote,  the three candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be elected to serve on the board of education, according to the school district. 

Voting

The budget vote and trustee elections will be held Tuesday, May 17, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at North Country Road Middle School, 191 N. Country Road, Miller Place.

Pixabay photo

School board elections are a rare chance to make a positive change in the lives of schoolchildren throughout our community.

Too young to vote, these children depend on us to make responsible decisions on their behalf. It is our duty to help them find direction and we must take this responsibility seriously. 

For centuries, school boards on this continent have served a vital role, promoting health, prosperity and civility throughout communities across America. Our school boards prepare our youth for the challenges of life, serving as a vehicle for their coming of age.

On Tuesday, voters will decide who will serve on these school boards and, while they are often overlooked, these elections have enormous consequences. Unlike other elected officials who spend much of their time away in some remote capitol, school board members are here on the ground with their students and constituents. 

Among many other obligations, school boards hire district superintendents, approve budgets, design curricula and organize districtwide calendars. These individuals will chart the course of our students’ lives from kindergarten through high school. Behind the scenes, their decisions will shape how these children learn and grow, and how they develop into responsible citizens prepared to contribute to our community.

Americans generally believe that our greatest days still lie ahead of us. Even in this moment of partisanship and polarization, we can all agree that our future requires an educated youth. These young souls will soon be leaders among us, which is why our decisions matter today.

We must take greater interest in the education of our youth. We must study our ballots, familiarizing ourselves not only with the names of the candidates but also the person, platform and character behind the name. Does this candidate have integrity? Can this candidate be entrusted with the moral and intellectual development of our children? These are the critical questions we must ask ourselves before entering the voting booth.

To the readers of TBR News Media, take a moment to research the candidates for your district’s board of education. Be prepared before you pull the lever, including studying the proposed 2022-23 school budget.

While we so often hear people tell us their votes don’t count, we are here to tell you that this one does. The enlightenment of our children, the health of our community and the future of our nation are in your hands. Make your voice heard and get out to vote this coming Tuesday. 

By Chris Mellides

Shoreham-Wading River Central School District

Shoreham-Wading River High School will serve as the polling site for this year’s school budget and board of education election. File photo

The proposed budget to be voted on is $83 million, an increase of 2.87% and a tax levy hike of 1.70%, within the district’s limit. There will also be a Proposition No. 2 on capital projects of $2,898,040 with no tax levy increase.

Incumbents Thomas Sheridan and Meghan Tepfenhardt are running unopposed for reelection as trustee candidates.

Only Sheridan responded to a request for interview. He has been serving on the board of education for the past three years. His dedication to the district comes from a determined perspective to help ensure that his school district continues to build on its accomplishments and to better enable it to be recognized and celebrated for its points of pride. Sheridan said that the biggest challenge facing Shoreham-Wading River is the commitment from New York State to continue its funding for the district’s schools.  

The budget vote and board of education elections will be held Tuesday, May 17, at gym from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Mount Sinai Union Free School District 

The proposed budget of $63.8 million with a 2.02% increased tax rate, does not exceed the tax cap. District funds are being earmarked for renovations, replacements and upgrading infrastructure. 

Mount Sinai Elementary School will serve as the polling site. File photo

Voters will be asked to vote for any two of the four candidates on the ballot, who are Alice Samantha Dreyer, Alexis Fliller, John Hnat and Anthony Mangione. Incumbents AnneMarie Henninger and Lisa Pfeffer (incumbent) are not seeking reelection. Only Dreyer and Mangione responded to requests for interviews. 

Alice Samantha Dreyer

Dreyer is a first-time candidate running for a seat on the board of education. A doctor of psychology, Dreyer’s focus if elected will be on mental health, as it relates to the rise of depression, anxiety and suicidality among students nationwide. Dreyer sees the importance in recognizing the needs of her district’s students and believes in inclusivity when it comes to students of all ability levels. She said that the biggest challenge facing her district stems from the COVID-19 pandemic and its ill effects on students’ learning and anxiety levels. Dreyer hopes to see her district continue to provide a broad-based, foundational education for all its students. 

Anthony Mangione

Mangione has never sat on the Mount Sinai board of education. The first-timer said that a large group of local residents take to social media to and ask why their voices aren’t being heard. This is the driving force behind what made Mangione run. His goal is to reverse the loss of learning that school students experienced while learning remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Mangione promises to fight to end or prevent unfunded or underfunded mandates. 

The budget vote and board of education elections will be held Tuesday, May 17, from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Mount Sinai Elementary School.

Rocky Point Union Free School District

The proposed budget to be voted on totals $88 million, an increase of 2.72%. Voters will also be asked to elect two trustees. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes will fill the seat for three years and the second seat will fill the seat immediately following the election, expiring June 30, 2023. 

The following candidate information was obtained from the district’s website.

Nick Contes

Contes has been a Rocky Point resident for the past 15 years, has two daughters in the school district and is risk and insurance manager at Henry Schein. Contes and his family have contributed to an array of local youth programs, including soccer, tee-ball and cheerleading. He has openly spoken at many BOE meetings and is an advocate for parental choice, improved school lunches and highlighting areas of cost savings for the district. 

Nicole Kelly 

Kelly is a Rocky Point resident and mother of a child attending Rocky Point High School. As a senior administrator at Brookhaven National Laboratory, her work experience includes project management, contract administration and compliance on the state and federal levels. She’s been critical in implementing various interactive events within the district to enhance learning and opportunity for students of all ages. If elected, Kelly plans to include increased strategic planning, safety and security for increased community communication. 

Jason Ford 

Ford has been a community member for 10 years and a father of three children who attend Rocky Point schools. Ford serves full time in hospitality management and volunteers his time throughout the community. He is an active PTA member as well as being a baseball coach for St. Anthony’s CYO and is a volunteer for both North Shore Little League and Rocky Point Youth Soccer Club. Ford would like to work collaboratively with fellow board members, teachers and administrators to provide the best education for the district’s students and be a voice for the community during these challenging times. His goal is to help bridge the gap between parents and educators. 

Susan Sullivan 

Incumbent trustee Sullivan has been a resident of Rocky Point for 37 years and retired from the district after serving as a teacher and administrator for a total of 40 years. She holds a B.A. in education, a master’s in liberal studies and a master’s in education. Sullivan said that it has been an honor to serve on the board for the past nine years. She looks forward to continuing as a trustee, representing the entire community, keeping in mind that she serves as one of a team. Sullivan will work together with her fellow trustees to offer an educational program that supports the needs of all students and is mindful of the fiscal responsibility to the community. 

Erin Walsh

A veteran of the U.S. Army Reserve, catechist, PTA volunteer and legal secretary, Walsh has recently completed her paralegal qualifications to bolster her advocacy and knowledge in law. Walsh, a 14-year Rocky Point resident and mother of two, looks forward to serving the students and families of the district through transparency and communication along with parental involvement in the schools. She focuses on making certain that every dollar in the budget delivers enthusiastic learning along with smaller class sizes, while eliminating administrative waste in her district. 

Susan Wilson 

Wilson is a retired teacher and administrator who has been part of the Rocky Point community since the 1960s. She is a married mother of two local Point graduates. She holds a B.A. in accounting, an M.A. in liberal studies/technology and an advanced degree certificate in educational leadership. She has served on the boards of the PTA, Rocky Point Civic Association and the North Shore Beach Property Owners Association. Wilson’s goals will be to continue being an advocate for a nine-period day, while also supporting districtwide improvements with a focus on increasing the graduation rate. She also seeks out perspectives on the issues helping in her consideration of the financial impacts of the budget on the taxpayer. She supports decisions that have the interests of the school community at heart.  

Rocky Point High School will serve as the polling site. File photo

The budget vote and board of education elections will be held Tuesday, May 17, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Rocky Point High School. 

A closer look at some of the candidates

Comsewogue High School, above, will serve as the polling site for this year’s board of education election. File photo

By Raymond Janis

Next week, residents of Comsewogue school district will decide upon the election of two candidates for school board.

The terms for trustees Robert DeStefano and Francisca Alabau-Blatter are expiring and both are running for reelection. On Tuesday, May 17, voters will determine who will fill these seats for the next three years.

TBR News Media reached out to the declared candidates, asking them why they are running, what are the most important issues facing the district in the coming term and what they hope to accomplish if elected. Meghan Puleo and Alabau-Blatter could not be reached for interviews. We welcome Puleo and Alabau-Blatter to reach out to us and we will update this story on our website to include these interviews.

Robert DeStefano

DeStefano said he is running for reelection out of love for his community. He added that he and his wife grew up in the community, bought a house there and believe in the importance of giving back. 

“To serve this community in this capacity is something that I had the honor of doing for the last dozen years,” he said. “There are still a lot of good things to continue to do, and there are always things that we can be working on to improve.”

According to him, there is still much to be done in terms of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. He said this is still the greatest issue facing the district. 

“Right now it’s all about making sure we get the kids recovered from the last couple of years,” he said, adding, “We’ve all been through a lot in getting through the pandemic and making sure that for any students that are still feeling the effects of learning loss, we catch them up.” 

If elected for another term, DeStefano said his principal objective is, aside from what was previously stated, to help introduce the new programs coming to the district.

“We have a lot of exciting things coming into the district,” he said. “We are introducing a nine-period day in our high school. We have plans to bring that into our middle school to give our students more options for additional classes.” He added that he intends to perfect these programs as they are implemented by “making sure that these initiatives thrive and become part of the curriculum, so that our younger students and our future students can count on them beyond the life of just this term.”

Joseph Borruso

Borruso said that a number of people throughout the community are seeking change in the school district. 

“A lot of the candidates have been there for 10-plus years now, so they just want some fresh people in there,” he said. “My background I think is a perfect fit. I have a bachelor’s in finance and accounting, so I think I would be a good addition to help out in all aspects of the school board and the community.”

If elected, Borruso intends to focus on the curriculum and academic programs throughout the district. “We’re ranked well below some of the similar-sized schools, like Mount Sinai, Rocky Point and Miller Place,” he said. “I don’t think we’re as bad as the rankings show but I’ll dig deep into how these rankings are done and processed, and see what we can do better to get our rankings up.”

Borruso said active participation on the school board will be his principal objective. “I want to go there with a fresh way of thinking and utilize my background and skills to help push a positive agenda forward,” he said. 

Gary Bodenburg

Bodenburg said he has served the community in various capacities through committees throughout the district. According to him, he is currently the director of curriculum and instruction for a nonprofit organization that helps women and children who are victims of domestic violence. 

“It’s safe to say that I am really doing this to move together as a community, enrich the lives of all of our children and support our staff and teachers to the best of my ability,” he said.

Bodenburg emphasized the importance of costs and fiscal responsibility. At a time of great uncertainty, he suggests thoughtful consideration of budgets to be paramount. 

“It’s important to be mindful and to make sure that our budget is very tight,” he said. “We need to be extremely mindful of the circumstances surrounding what’s happening in our world and our fiscal responsibilities to our constituents.”

Bodenburg said his principal objective is to improve communication and transparency among all stakeholders and constituents throughout the district, adding, “And with that, our goal is to advocate for children. That is the most important thing that we need to do as board members.”