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Long IslandEducation

East Hampton school district


1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at East Hampton High School.


The district proposes a $66,721,301 budget for 2016-17, a 0.97 percent increase from the current $66,081,710. The tax levy would rise by 0.68 percent, from $48,657,436 to $48,986,823.

This increase is equal to the district’s tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.

The district declined to provide the dollar amount of the taxes on the average single-family home because it said final assessment figures were not available.

The budget includes estimated salary increases for teachers, subject to negotiations. It funds the hiring of an additional computer science teacher.

  • District website:


Incumbents James (J.P.) Foster, Wendy Geehring and Richard Wilson and candidate Alison Anderson are running for three at-large seats. Terms are three years.

Alison Anderson

BACKGROUND: Anderson, 52, was elected to the school board in 2010, where she served one term. She is a lifetime resident of the district. She studied business at SUNY Cobleskill and Suffolk County Community College. Her three children attended district schools. Before her term on the school board, Anderson was PTA president at East Hampton Middle School and East Hampton High School. She is a former religious education instructor at Most Holy Trinity Church in East Hampton.

ISSUES: Anderson said that, if elected, she would “pledge to work hard to continue to improve the quality of education for all children in our diverse community.” Anderson said that to promote “cost efficient” education she would encourage the board to look at shared services with neighboring school districts. She said the district should also seek grants to improve its pre-K program. “It’s a good idea to go out to do research to obtain grants to improve education,” she said.

Wendy Geehreng

BACKGROUND: Geehreng, 44, is a pediatric nurse practitioner and has lived in the district for 35 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from Colgate University, and a master’s degree in pediatric nursing from Columbia University. Geehreng was the president of the East Hampton Middle School PTA from 2010 to 2012. She was elected to the school board in 2013.

ISSUES: Geehreng said that the school board is “constantly looking for ways to improve our academic standards and maintain the programs that serve this goal.” She said the board does this while being “responsible to our taxpayers” on fiduciary matters. With the “backdrop of our statewide tax cap, we strive to give the children of East Hampton School District the best education at a reasonable, justifiable and transparent cost,” she said.

James (J.P.) Foster

BACKGROUND: Foster, 45, works as a public safety dispatcher for East Hampton Village, and also is a real estate agent with Town & Country Real Estate in East Hampton. Foster has lived in the district for 27 years. He is a graduate of the Suffolk County Police Academy and has two children in district schools. Foster was appointed to the East Hampton Town planning board, where he served from 2012 to 2013. He was elected to the school board in 2013.

ISSUES: Foster said that as a board member he wants to see a few projects through, such as adding solar power to all three district buildings and adding a new natural gas line to the high school. “That will power a cogeneration electricity/hot water plant that will reduce utility cost and be a greener facility,” he said. He said that he would try to keep costs in line while adding and increasing educational value.

Richard C. Wilson

BACKGROUND: Wilson, 76, has lived in the district for 48 years. He is a retired teacher who owns an online science retail store. Wilson has a bachelor’s degree in business from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in science education from Stony Brook University. His three children attended district schools. He was elected to the school board in 2013.

ISSUES: Wilson, who could not be reached for comment, said in a prepared statement that the most important issue facing the district is “college and career readiness of all East Hampton students.” Wilson said, “I visit college admissions offices and ask for suggestions for prepping our students.” He said he advocates for K-12 STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics) programs in the district because, he said, “that is where the jobs are.”

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