What prompted you to run?
I’ve served on the Board since 2013. At the time, our district needed to make up the gap in our budget that the state wasn’t funding. Schools had closed, our enrollment was decreasing and I knew that our district was going to be faced with difficult decisions.Ten years ago, I hoped to help find financial solutions and keep programs, music and art from getting cut. I also wanted to see the buildings brought up to date along with our technology. We’ve been successful at all of the above.
What would be your primary goals to accomplish if you win?
Our students and teachers have a home of which they can be proud. Now, I’d like to see our schools become their refuge. All of the programs and beautiful facilities can’t really shine without mental health and wellness support. Our students and teachers have faced incredible challenges and trauma over the last few years and they have shown what Warwick Strong really means. I want to focus on their well-being so that they can achieve their goals from a place of wholeness.
What experience gives you the ability to be skillful in this office and accomplish your goals?
I’m a born advocate, collaborator and problem solver. In college, I was president of our student government as well as a rape crisis advocate for Nassau County. For the last 13 years, I’ve worked in schools ranging from preschool through high school. As a parent in this community, I am aware of the challenges as well as the achievements of this district. As a board member andnow vice president, I know how valuable the progress that we’ve made is and how important it is to keep building on that work, never becoming complacent. That takes a lot of collaboration and commitment, attributes to which my colleagues can all attest.
What would be your strategy?
The worst thing any board member can do is attempt to affect change all alone. It takes acohesive board to achieve the excellence that is our current academic standing. More importantly, it takes educators like our teachers to really succeed. I plan to continue to listen to our teachers and support our superintendent so that we can all continue to see Warwick schools thrive and outshine the rest.
Running for the BOE is something I have always wanted to do. Now that my children are older, the timing was right. I have attended district board meetings for many years, and I know what the position entails and the level of commitment it requires.
Extend our commitment to Universal Pre-K; Advocate on behalf of our district to ensure funding and that local concerns are addressed; Ensure career and college readiness for all of our students by providing them with diverse course selections and project-based learning opportunities; Continue to facilitate a collaborative teaching environment, provide our teachers with access to the latest and most innovative professional development; Reinstate quarterly community partnership meetings. The meetings included participants from the PTA, the chamber of commerce, the Warwick Valley Prevention Coalition, Sustainable Warwick, and the historical society. The purpose of the meeting was to collaborate and identify common goals.
I established Parents for Change, which was a parent-led advocacy group. I organized and co-led monthly meetings where I taught parents how to advocate for fair funding. I reached out to guest speakers and attended PTA sponsored Legislator meetings which enabled me to speak face to face with our representatives. I also advocated alongside our teachers in Albany to advocate for fair funding.
I co-founded and was the co-chair of The Warwick Foundation for Excellence in Learning (WFEL) for 8 years. I built a board of directors and worked with our Superintendent and board of education. As the chair of the education foundation, I formed and oversaw committees such as the grant committee, policy committee and fundraising committee. I was also able to attend community stakeholder meetings such as the community partnership meetings.
I will read, learn, listen, and ask questions so that I make informed decisions with the students’ and teachers’ best interest at heart. I will also remain approachable and visible in the community so that I accurately represent family and community members concerns and ideals. I am student-focused and will work tirelessly to ensure that Warwick continues to be a leader in academic excellence.
The pandemic strongly influenced my decision to run for the WVCSD school board. I used to view education simply as teachers educating students. Teachers are the subject matter experts, equipped to handle any classroom situation. However, the pandemic challenged this paradigm, which I viewed firsthand as the spouse of a NYC public school teacher. I, now, recognize the importance a school board plays with supporting the superintendent’s ability to implement the district’s goals in conjuction with parent’s feedback. While my 2nd grader had in-person learning 5 days a week in Warwick, children in other school districts were spending most of their time remote-learning at their kitchen table. This loss of learning time is now proving to have long lasting negative effects, which was minimized as a result of Warwick’s approach.
My primary goal is to maintain and build on Warwick’s high educational standards to ensure every student is prepared to succeed despite the last two years of pandemic related educational challenges. The district must use all available resources to guarantee our children do not suffer long lasting effects from the pandemic. Specifically, supporting Warwick’s Portrait of a Graduate strategic plan which is data driven in order to identify, evaluate and improve any areas that are an obstacle to a student’s success. In addition, I will strongly advocate with our state and county representatives for additional mental health funding as well as fully support Warwick’s mental health professionals and counselors.
As a former firefighter, I am used to working with a team in high stress situations in order to accomplish specific goals. I received my Masters in Public Administration from Marist College in 2021, and will be beginning my second year of law school in July. Additionally, I am currently on the Chester Public Library Board of Trustees.
A student-centered approach which focuses on preparing students for the mental and practical skills required to succeed as well as support for teacher’s professional development in order to support that strategy.
Covid-19 related lockdowns were an unprecedented event in our lifetime.
We must do everything in our power as parents, educators and board members to mitigate the long lasting social, emotional and educational damage caused to all stakeholders.
I have served my community for over 32 years as a police officer. I also have been a volunteer football coach for Warwick Youth Football and for the Warwick Valley School District. I was raised in Warwick along with my 5 siblings. I wish to continue my service to the community that I love.
I would like to help maintain a fiscally responsible budget while providing our children the tools to succeed in college, the workforce and in our community.
I would like to maintain a healthy and safe environment for our children and staff.
I believe that the school district should continue to explore the green energy alternatives to fossil fuels and provide students the knowledge to support these alternatives.
Parents are the most important stakeholders in their children’s education. I believe it is important to allow them to have a voice in what we teach.
As the second in command of the Warwick Police Department for 19 years I have experience with the creation and administration of budgets. I have experience handling the hiring of employees, resolving issues with employees and labor unions. Most importantly my wife and I have raised four great children all of whom are WVCS graduates, 3 of whom are college grads and my youngest son will be senior at SUNY Cortland in the fall. I have lived and worked in Warwick for 50 years and I believe I have a strong understanding of what our community needs.
My strategy is simple. As a member of our Board of Education it is important to remain fair and open minded in my approach to new ideas. While we may not all always agree I believe without an open dialog and communication the people who will suffer the most are our children.
Nine years ago, I ran out of a concern for our community, two of our schools had closed and we were running budget gaps close to $6 million per year. My motivation was to increase transparency, restore community trust, and rely less on state aid. During my three terms on the board, with one year as President and three years as Vice-President, this is exactly what happened. Educational programs have increased, costs of operations have decreased and taxes have been held within or under the state mandated tax cap. As a fiscally conservative person, I am proud to say that since being elected, taxes have risen an average of 1.62% per year and this year, we have introduced the first negative tax levy since the tax cap was put in place.
The primary goal is to maintain our current level of education and build on our success. This will become more and more difficult as the cost of inflation and doing business increases. As our costs continue to rise, without corresponding increases in aid or taxes, maintaining the level of education that our community expects will become more difficult. We have become the premier district in the area and one that others strive to mimic. I will continue to make Warwick the district that sets the standard for the area.
My background in finance, public relations and business administration make me the ideal candidate to continue this mission. My knowledge in most aspects of school district operations make me well suited to continue moving our district forward. I have experience with the Orange County School Boards Association, and have served on the Facilities, Audit, and Policy committees for multiple years - being the chair of each of those committees at one time.
I will continue to promote responsible fiscal decisions, bring fresh ideas, and look for creative solutions to every issue. However, every situation might not have a clear cut answer or be one that the district has seen before. Having the experience and knowledge on how to get things accomplished can be invaluable to the district.