6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Kings Park High School.
The district proposes a budget of $84,729,293 for 2015-16, a 1.4 percent increase from the current $83,562,788. The local tax levy would increase 2 percent, from $64,344,245 to $65,631,130.
This increase is less than the state's tax-cap limit of 2.27 percent, so a simple majority vote will be needed to approve the budget. School taxes on the average single-family home would increase 2 percent, from $8,049.63 to $8,210.62.
The proposed budget includes a 1.5 percent contract increase. It adds a social worker, an English as a Second Language teacher; 1.5 elementary librarian positions; 1.9 positions to reduce class sizes, an additional groundsman, and additional sections in English, math, science and social studies to reduce class sizes.
The budget also restores high school assistant coach positions in football, girls lacrosse and winter track.
Residents will vote on a proposition to purchase four large school buses over five years at a cost of no more than $460,000. A second proposition will ask residents to vote on spending $875,000 to replace a section of the Kings Park High School roof. Neither would affect the tax levy.
Incumbents Charles Leo and Diane Nally and challenger Kevin D. Johnston are vying for two at-large seats. Terms are three years.
Kevin D. Johnston
BACKGROUND: Johnston, 57, is a longtime English teacher at Kings Park High School, where he also is the boys winter track coach, girls assistant lacrosse coach and a freshman class adviser. He has coached high school and middle school football for most of his roughly 35 years in the district. Johnston, who is retiring in June, earned a bachelor's degree in English, with a minor in secondary education from Hofstra University in 1980 and a master's degree in liberal arts and sciences from Stony Brook University in 1985. A 28-year district resident, he and his wife have two children who graduated from the district. Johnston is the treasurer of the Kings Park Education Foundation, a trustee of the Kings Park St. Patrick's Day Parade Committee and a 19-year member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Smithtown. This is his first run for the board.
ISSUES: Johnston said reducing class sizes, updating technology and bolstering technological training are among the issues facing the district. "Students now in order to be college-ready need to be trained in technology. . . . We're a little behind," he said. Johnston suggests working with those who fund educational projects and are experienced with writing grants to help secure money for technology. He also wants to recruit Kings Park High School alumni to help fund education initiatives. "I bring my 35 years of experience in this school district, and the enthusiasm and passion that I bring to my classroom and to my athletic teams." He added: "Kings Park needs to look at new ideas in order to meet the needs of the students and operate within the financial constraints."
BACKGROUND: Nally, 60, is assistant director of religious education at St. Joseph's Church. The 55-year district resident is a 1972 graduate of Kings Park High School and a 1976 graduate of Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School. She and her husband, Tom, have three children who graduated from district schools. Nally is the board liaison for the Kings Park "in the kNOw," a drug task force of parents, students and administrators, and a member of the Kings Park Civic Association. She is seeking her second term.
ISSUES: Nally said she believes she has contributed greatly to the district. She points to her efforts to help initiate and coordinate a grant-writing committee that hopes to secure grants to improve technology and the district's Science Technology Engineering Mathematics, or STEM, program. "I would like to continue to be an advocate for the students of Kings Park and the community of Kings Park," she said. She said the district is "being burdened by unfunded mandates from the state" and needs to continue to work with its superintendent to lobby for reduced mandates and greater local control. "I believe control should be left in the hands . . . of the school district," she said.
BACKGROUND: Leo, 47, is project manager for B&G Electrical Contractors in North Amityville. He graduated from SUNY Oswego in 1989 with a business administration degree. A lifelong district resident, Leo and his wife have two children attending district schools; a third child graduated from the district. Leo is a trustee of the Kings Park Heritage Museum and the Kings Park Central School District Audit Committee, and a former president of the Kings Park Youth Athletic Association. The board vice president is seeking his second term.
ISSUES: Leo said renovating facilities, updating technology and reducing class sizes are key issues facing the district. He said he wants to advocate for the implementation of wireless classrooms to "embrace technology through the use of a tablet and eliminate textbooks." He said he has adapted to the learning curve in his first year, and is proud of his role in helping to hire new Superintendent Timothy T. Eagen. "We've gained a great deal of momentum over the last year," Leo said, citing a recently approved teacher's contract and restoring several coaching positions. "We're Kings Park, so we don't have money to just throw at problems. We need to work smarter -- and we do, we need to work harder -- and we do. . . . We work things out."