Rocky Point has two open trustee seats. Board member Scott Reh, who was sworn in to the board Jan. 14 to fill the seat vacated by Joseph Coniglione earlier this school year, has said he has no plans on securing re-election in May and will let other candidates run for his seat. The candidate with the most votes will serve for the three-year term. The candidate with the second highest number of votes will serve the remainder of Coniglione’s term which is one year. The candidates this year are Susan Sullivan, Michael Lisa and Jessica Ward. Rocky Point will host its elections and budget vote May 21 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the high school gym.
Lisa moved to Rocky Point seven years ago with his wife to raise their three children. Currently one is in sixth grade, one in fourth grade and next fall his youngest son will start kindergarten, according to a Facebook post. He has been an educator in the Massapequa School District for the last 21 years, and has coached at both the high school and middle school levels.
“I am seeking the opportunity to serve on the board of education and use my experience as a teacher to listen first, lead with compassion and attentiveness to the needs of the members of our school community,” he said. ”And more importantly build strong partnerships with administration, students and teachers to work towards a common goal to benefit the children of Rocky Point.”
The former educator and assistant principal of Rocky Point High School has lived in the district for the past 34 years. She has been on the board for the past six years and recently served as board president.
“I want to continue giving back to the community that gives so much back,” she said.
Sullivan points to the AP and honors programs the districts offer as a strength and wants to keep taking Rocky Point to great places academically. She mentioned the tremendous work done on buildings in the district as part of bond works, though she stressed making sure they are being aware of the tax cap when it comes to the budget.
Being retired, Sullivan said she has a lot of free time and would be able to attend many events throughout the district. With Rocky Point appointing a new superintendent, in Scott O’Brien, Sullivan is looking forward to working with him and continuing to build great relationships with teachers and administrators.
The challenger has lived in Rocky Point for the past 12 years and has four children in the district. She previously ran for a trustee seat six years ago but did not win election. After some time to reflect on it, Ward decided to put her name in the race again.
The Rocky Point resident said, as a smaller district, they’ve been able to do great things over the years. One area she thinks the district is doing well in is the AP and honor programs the district offers.
As a parent with children in the elementary, middle and high school, as well as a former employee of the district, she said she feels she has a unique perspective in the inner workings of the school system.
Ward said she would like to see improvements in the mental health and social services being provided to students. She said she is concerned about the prevalence of e-cigarettes and Juuls in schools and wants to make sure parents are educated about this issue.
The mother of four would like to see more security guards on school grounds who would have more of a presence. She also would like to maintain the athletics programs in the district.
“I think it’s important to be present,” Ward said. “I believe I’m approachable and I am someone who will fight tirelessly to take care of the students and staff.”