Two incumbents will square off against a former administrator in the race for two seats on the Huntington board of education.
Bari Fehrs is running for her second term while Bill Dwyer is seeking his third victory. Carmen Kasper, who served as the district’s director of world languages for 14 years before retiring in June 2015, is challenging the pair.
“The hardest thing about making that decision [to retire] was that I was not going to work with students any more,” Kasper said in an email. But by running for the board, “I could still work for them, serve them the best I could, and serve them to the best of my knowledge by being a trustee, making decisions that would help to improve their education.”
Kasper has lived in Huntington for 10 years. She has spent her life as an educator, teaching English in Peru and Spanish in Copiague school district. She earned a degree in education from SUNY Old Westbury and a master’s degree from Hofstra University in teaching English as a second language.
Fehrs, a 27-year Huntington resident, was elected to the school board in 2013. She was on the board’s Safety Committee, Health and Wellness Committee, Shared Decision Making Committee and Policy Committee during her first term.
Fehrs said she is proud of several accomplishments in her first term, like the board restoring a full-day kindergarten program, which was previously cut, without piercing the state-mandated cap on tax levy increases; expanding academic and extracurricular programs; and enhancing technological infrastructure.
“I look forward to the opportunity to serve another term as a school board trustee, to continue the excellence in education that the Huntington community has come to expect while being fiscally responsible to the taxpayers of this district,” she said in an email.
Bill Dwyer was first elected in 2008. He left the board in 2011 after his first term, and was elected again in 2013. He served as president of the board for three school years.
“I am proud of the work we have done in adding programs and services, all within the realm of responsible budgeting,” Dwyer said in an email. “I have made positive contributions to the school district during my time on the board and would be honored to continue my service.”
Dwyer has a master’s degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He started his own health publishing company called Rocket Science Publishing, which produces patient education materials to help in chronic disease management. He currently works for an educational technology company.
Polls will be open on May 17 to vote on the district’s $123 million budget and select two board members. There is another item on the ballot: the release of $2.4 million from the district’s capital reserves for infrastructure upgrades related to handicap accessibility.