Five candidates are vying for two open seats on the Harborfields board of education.
Incumbent Hansen Lee is seeking a second term while board member Irene Gaughan is not seeking re-election.
In an interview with TBR News Media, Lee said he was the best option to represent the community because he is proactive with engaging students and parents.
“I haven’t missed a concert in the last eight years … and I attend at least one varsity and junior varsity sports game per team. I want to be visible, so that when I make a board decision, I have first-hand knowledge of what’s going and what the community thinks.”
Lee has served the district for the past 17 years with the Harborfields Alumni and Community Educational Foundation and as a district volunteer.
He said technology is an area he has worked to improve in the district. Instituting Wi-Fi, and the use of Google Chromebooks in schools are some of the accomplishments he is proud of initiating in his first term.
Chris Kelly ran for a seat last year, and this year, said he wants to help the district think more long-term.
“Harborfields needs someone to go through the numbers, and I’d like to do some long-term planning,” he said in a phone interview. “I can predict variables and prepare us for years to come, and keep the district on top.”
Kelly has been working in the market data business for the past 19 years, and is a self-proclaimed “numbers guy.” He has volunteered for the Harborfields Get Out the Vote committee, the Parent Teacher Association, and has worked with Fair Start: Harborfields Residents for Full-Day Kindergarten.
“I get to see the glue that holds the school together,” he said.
Marge Acosta, a former primary school science teacher, threw her hat into the ring. The Centerport resident said she thinks her education experience and “insight on how children learn,” could be used to help bring in new programs to the district. Acosta said she would like to see more science, technology, engineering and math programs integrated into district curriculum.
“It is crucial for kids to have success in the future,” she said of these programs. “Obtaining a curriculum that is developmentally appropriate and effective in preparing our children for the 21st century must be our first priority.”
Acosta is a member of the Harborfields full-day kindergarten committee, Fair Start and the PTA.
Fellow Centerport resident Colleen Wolcott also entered into the race. She has experience as a special education teacher and said she wants to “maximize opportunities for students with special needs,” bring additional electives to the high school, and develop marketing tools to improve communication and the dissemination of information between the board and the community.
Wolcott is the current president of the Harborfields Special Education Parent Teacher Association, and is a member of the district’s health and welfare committee, the Washington Drive PTA, and the Harborfields Alliance For Community Outreach.
“I’ve gotten in the trenches,” she said in a phone interview. “I know the administration well and I’ve gotten to see how it all works.”
Rounding out the panel of candidates is Joseph Savaglio, a Long Island native who said he wants to use his experience with overseeing budgets to help control costs and improve the educational system at Harborfields.
“I would like to see an expansion of curriculum in arts and languages,” he said, “as well as restore some programs we lost in special education and sports.”
Savaglio has been a resident for 27 years, and working with real estate management companies, has managed properties all over the country.