VOTING

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Forest Lake Elementary School, Mandalay Elementary School and Wantagh Elementary School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $76,204,655 budget for 2016-17, a 0.65 percent increase over the current $75,711,069. The tax levy would decrease by 0.18 percent, from $56,053,692 to $55,954,095.

This decrease is within the district’s tax-cap limit of 1.17 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.

School taxes on the average single-family home would decrease by 0.2 percent, from $8,537 to $8,520.

The proposed budget funds a contractual increase of 0.5 percent and a 1.2 percent step increase for teachers. It cuts a part-time position at the high school and adds a part-time psychologist, part-time administrator, full-time administrative staff position and full-time nurse to the district staff. New high school courses would be added in AP research, robotics, engineering and virtual enterprises. It would add seventh- and eighth-grade boys volleyball teams and Chromebooks for all sixth-grade students.

  • District website:

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wantaghschools.org

THE CANDIDATES

Incumbents Kera McLoughlin and Peter Mountanos and candidate Jean Quinn are running for two at-large seats. McLoughlin and Mountanos are running as a team. Terms are three years.

Kera McLoughlin

BACKGROUND: McLoughlin, 38, has lived in the district for 10 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana and a master’s degree in social studies from Teachers College, Columbia University. McLoughlin taught social studies at Massapequa High School from 2001 to 2005. Her three children attend district schools. McLoughlin, who is an active volunteer in the Wantagh Elementary and Special Education PTAs, was elected to the school board in 2013.

ISSUES: McLoughlin said: “Our district faces the challenges of remaining fiscally responsible and staying below the property tax cap while continuing to expand our programs to help our students meet the demands of a 21st century world and economy.” McLoughlin continued: “We need to continue to find ways to innovate, to provide more and better opportunities for our students, and to give our community the greatest educational value for its tax dollars.” She said she looked forward to “continuing our work to ensure our students are provided with a well-rounded curriculum rich in hands-on learning experiences by expanding our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) program.”

Peter Mountanos

BACKGROUND: Mountanos, 21, is a lifelong district resident. He was elected to the school board in 2013. Mountanos has a bachelor’s degree in data science from New York University. He is a co-founder of Wantagh TechDay, which teaches district children the fundamentals of computer coding. In 2011, Mountanos was a high school researcher in the Department of Particle Physics at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton.

ISSUES: Mountanos said the district needs “to allocate our resources in the most effective and efficient way possible” in what he called “the property tax-cap era.” He said the district is “grappling with an increasing loss of local control,” and added that “we must prepare all of our students for success in a 21st-century economy.” He said he advocates a “whole-child approach to education” to “provide an enriched and engaging curriculum that is not narrowed to only testing subject areas.”

Jean Quinn

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BACKGROUND: Quinn, 62, was raised in Wantagh and graduated from Wantagh High School in 1972. She worked as a special-education teacher’s aide in the district beginning in 2002 and left the position in 2007 to run for the school board, where she served through 2013. Quinn, who served as president and twice as vice president of the board, said she chose not to run for re-election after her home was destroyed by superstorm Sandy. She studied business management and finance at LIU Post. Her two children attended district schools.

ISSUES: Quinn said her “vision is to maintain the excellent educational opportunities of our schools while remaining cognizant of the economic climate.” She said, if re-elected, “I will use my experience to balance education and cost containment and I will foster productive relationships among our families, faculty and the board of education.” Quinn continued: “We need to be responsive to the continually changing needs of our population.” She said one of her signature issues is fighting drug abuse. She said she was proud to work with board members to bring full-day kindergarten to Wantagh in 2013.