TODAY'S PAPER
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BUDGET

SPENDING $184,847,632, a 2.74 percent increase from the current $179,926,080.

TAX LEVY 0.12 percent decrease, from $86,942,571 to $86,838,240. This is within the district’s 5.12 percent tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote is required for approval.

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS Includes a 0.75 percent teacher salary increase with an average 0.75 percent step increase. Adds positions for five teachers, three teaching assistants, a guidance counselor, an athletic coach and a security aide.

PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 3 authorizes spending $1.5 million from the 2009 capital reserve fund and $2.5 million from the 2017 capital reserve fund for districtwide repairs and renovations to air conditioning, bathrooms, building security, windows, roofing, playgrounds, sidewalks, parking lots and replacing bleachers and the press box at Freeport High School. Approval of the proposition will not increase the tax levy.

WHEN | WHERE

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Archer Street, Bayview Avenue, Leo F. Giblyn, Columbus Avenue, and Caroline G. Atkinson schools and the Field House, 55 Albany Ave. www.freeportschools.org

CANDIDATES

Five candidates are running for two at-large seats: Gabriela Castillo, Jeremy J. Impellizeri, Sophia Johnson, Maria Jordan-Awalom and Tanyria Taylor. Incumbents Anthony J. Miller and Michael Pomerico are not seeking re-election. Terms are three years.

Gabriela Castillo

BACKGROUND Castillo, 39, an attorney, is the executive director of the Nassau County Office of Hispanic Affairs. Castillo was born in San Miguel, El Salvador, and immigrated to the United States at age 5. She attended Freeport public schools and graduated from Freeport High School in 1998. Castillo earned a bachelor of science degree in political science from Molloy College in Rockville Centre and a law degree from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Central Islip. After college graduation, Castillo lived in North Carolina but she returned to Freeport in 2013. Castillo was the director from 2015 to 2018 of the Long Island Civic Engagement Table, a nonprofit organization that works to increase civic participation in immigrant and communities of color on Long Island. Her two children attend district schools. Castillo is running as a team with Maria Jordan-Awalom. This is her first run for the school board.

KEY ISSUE “Being able to have a conversation on how to advocate for our fair and equitable funding for our district. Public education as a whole in our country is at a crossroads right now, and we need to talk about the inequities that have contributed to that. We cannot have equal opportunities and a fair outcome with the currently inequitable system that we have of depending on property taxes for our public education funding.”

Jeremy J. Impellizeri

BACKGROUND Impellizeri, 28, was raised in Freeport and graduated from Freeport High School in 2008. Impellizeri earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Hofstra University. Impellizeri is the store manager for Faherty, a clothing store in Sag Harbor. Impellizeri is a member of the Freeport Village Commission for the Conservation of the Environment. He co-founded with other residents the revival of Freeport Neighborhood Watch, which works on safety issues with the Freeport Police Department. Impellizeri was a volunteer for 10 years with the Empire State Pride Agenda, a LGBT civil rights organization that disbanded in 2015. He currently lobbies as an individual for equality and protection for LGBT youth in New York State. While Impellizeri was a student at Freeport High School, he served as the student representative on the Freeport school board budget advisory committee. Impellizeri is running as a team with Tanyria Taylor.

KEY ISSUE “To make sure that everyone has a voice, and being a member of the LGBT community I have seen first hand how it feels to have decisions made for you. Something that I always fought for since I was in high school was the right to have a choice as a student in my own education. As a school board member, it would be my main priority to ensure that all parties that have a stake in the school district have a voice."

Sophia Johnson

BACKGROUND Johnson, 47, is the public relations officer for the Incorporated Village of Freeport. Johnson was born in Toronto, and immigrated to the United States when she was 8 years old. Johnson grew up in the Bronx where she attended Harry S. Truman High School, but she returned to Canada at age 19. She earned her general equivalency diploma at age 26 and earned a diploma in business administration from Trios College in Hamilton, Ontario. Johnson has lived in Freeport for 11 years. Johnson is the volunteer public relations and communications chairwoman for the Freeport-Roosevelt branch of the NAACP. She has five children, three of whom attend district public schools, and two who graduated from Freeport district schools. This is her first run for the school board.

KEY ISSUE “Our current community engagement pathways, which are mostly board meetings, are inconvenient or encumbered with a lack of accountability. If elected, I would look toward engaging the community with 21st century media, such as Facebook. I would like the school district to use a public access channel to broadcast board meetings and district events that show school spirit."

Maria Jordan-Awalom

BACKGROUND Jordan-Awalom, 45, has lived in the school district for 29 years. She is an administrative clerk in the Freeport Village Assessors' office. Jordan-Awalom graduated from Freeport High School in 1992. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from Queens College-CUNY in Flushing. Jordan-Awalom is president of the Freeport PTA council. She has held PTA executive board positions for the last seven years and has been actively involved with the PTA for a decade. She is chairwoman of the Nassau County Police Department Commissioners Community Council for county legislative District 5. She is also a member of Freeport Cares, an organization that coordinates school programs and activities with the Village of Freeport, the business community and local houses of worship. Her two children attend district schools. Jordan-Awalom is making her first run for the school board and is teamed with Gabriela Castillo.

KEY ISSUE "I'm running because I’m an involved parent, and I believe that we have to continue advocacy to empower teachers, parents and students and to eliminate any barriers to important discussion. I will continue to advocate for students and their families through community and educational efforts, which I have been doing a long time now."

Tanyria Taylor

BACKGROUND Taylor, 29, has lived in the district for 27 years and is a 2010 graduate of Freeport High School. Taylor is the owner of the Boss Babies Learning Academy, a day care center in Freeport. Taylor earned an associate degree in criminal justice from Nassau Community College and a bachelor of social work degree from Adelphi University. Taylor is a member of the Freeport Chamber of Commerce. Taylor was a panelist selected from local women executives at a Freeport High School women’s empowerment assembly earlier this year. Taylor has a child who is not yet school age. This is her first run for the school board. She is running as a team with Jeremy Impellizeri.

KEY ISSUE “Increasing the amount of social workers and guidance counselors in the schools to address overall functioning and social development of young people in the community. The proposed school budget adding a guidance counselor is one step in the right direction. The board is realizing that it’s not only about education but the well-being of all the students.”

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