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Long IslandEducation

East Hampton

SCHOOL VOTERS GUIDE

BUDGET

SPENDING $70,947,120, a 1.58 percent increase from the current $69,846,198. 

TAX LEVY 1.847 percent increase, from $50,834,357 to $51,773,201. This is equal to the district’s 1.847 percent tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote is required for approval.

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS The teachers contract is being negotiated. Under the proposed budget, the district plans to maintain programs and staffing levels.

WHEN | WHERE

1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the East Hampton school district office. ehufsd.org 

CANDIDATES

Jeffrey Erickson, Sandra Vorpahl and incumbents James (JP) Foster and Wendy Geehreng are running for three seats, elected at-large. Terms are three years.

Jeffrey Erickson

BACKGROUND Erickson, 51, has lived in the district for 21 years. An East Hampton Village police sergeant in the Emergency Services Unit, Erickson also has worked as a D.A.R.E. officer in schools. His wife, Trisha, is a physical education teacher in the district's John M. Marshall Elementary School and his daughter is in ninth grade in the district. He is an Eagle Scout and a past president of the East Hampton Village Police Benevolent Association.

KEY ISSUE School safety is the top issue for Erickson, who would like to see more security outside the high school and real-time monitoring of surveillance cameras. "The safety and education of students in the East Hampton School District is the most important investment we can make," he said.

James (JP) Foster

BACKGROUND Foster, 48, has lived in the district for 30 years. He is the chief public safety dispatcher for East Hampton Village. He has a daughter in college and a son who is a senior in the district. He was elected to the school board in 2013 and is the panel's president.

KEY ISSUE Foster said he would like to continue his involvement in a project to build a new bus garage in the district that includes space for vocational classrooms. He noted his commitment to transparency, including his involvement in asking public access station LTV to broadcast board meetings. If re-elected, he said, "I could finish some of the projects I've started."

Wendy Geehreng

BACKGROUND Geehreng, 47, an East Hampton native, is a pediatric nurse practitioner. She has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from Colgate University and a master’s in pediatric nursing from Columbia University. Geehreng was president of the East Hampton Middle School PTA from 2010 to 2012. Her youngest daughter is a sixth-grader in the district. She was elected to the school board in 2013.

KEY ISSUE Geehreng said top issues for her are overseeing completion of the district's new bus depot and instituting a dual language program at John M. Marshall Elementary School. "It's always been my belief that every kid that graduates from our high school should be bilingual," she said.

Sandra Vorpahl

BACKGROUND Vorpahl, 71, is a lifelong district resident. She graduated from East Hampton High School in 1965 and worked for the district for 32 years before her retirement in 2002. Her two children and five grandchildren all are graduates of the district. Vorpahl previously served on the board from 2004 to 2010.

KEY ISSUE Vorpahl commended the school board on recent initiatives, including a new committee focused on mental health and a plan to bring vocational classes to the high school. "The board is doing a really good job at this point and I'd like to help," she said. "I'm sure they can use another set of eyes and ears."

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