TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Locust Valley school district

VOTING

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Bayville Intermediate School in Bayville, Ann MacArthur Primary School in Locust Valley and Brookville Reformed Church on Brookville Road, Brookville.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes an $85,612,108 budget for 2018-19, a 1.82 percent increase from the current $84,082,613. The tax levy would increase 1.87 percent from $78,283,529 to $79,749,608.

The increase is within the district’s tax-cap limit of 2.44 percent, so a simple majority would approve the budget.

The dollar amount of the school tax paid on the average single-family house under the proposed budget could not be determined because final assessment figures were not available.

The proposed budget funds a 0.81 percent contractual salary increase and a 1.57 percent step increase for teachers. Three teacher positions and extracurricular programs in theater and music would also be added.

Voters will decide two propositions. One authorizes the district to spend $1.5 million in capital reserve funds for roof replacements at Locust Valley Middle School/High School and Bayville Primary School and an adaptive playground at the primary school.

Another proposition authorizes setting up a $5 million capital reserve fund for projects such as security enhancements, roof replacements, heating and ventilation system upgrades, parking lot and driveway improvements and instructional space reconstruction.

District website:

www.lvcsd.k12.ny.us

THE CANDIDATES

Four candidates are running for three at-large seats: Margaret Marchand, Jennifer Maselli, Tyler Raciti and incumbent Brian T. Nolan. Erika Bruno is not seeking re-election. The third-highest vote-getter finishes the last year of the three-year term of Lissa Harris, who moved away from the district in September. Full terms are three years.

Margaret Marchand

BACKGROUND: Marchand, 48, has lived in the district for 20 years. A former Syosset schools special education teacher, she left teaching in 2004 to raise her children. She currently works as a music teacher at the Village Preschool in Bayville. Marchand is also an adjunct professor of remedial reading at Nassau Community College. She received a bachelor of arts degree with dual majors in psychology and special education from Marist College in Poughkeepsie. She received a master’s degree in foundations of reading from New York University. Marchand was a member of the board of the Bayville Little League from 2009 to 2012. Her three children attend district public schools. This is her first run for the school board.

ISSUES: Marchand said that as the district “continues to hone its academic rigor, we need to be mindful of balancing that rigor with the authenticity and creativity that our talented and dedicated teachers can bring to the classroom.” She said that as a former teacher and a district parent, she believes the district needs “to find the blend again that will encourage a high level of academic achievement while not losing sight of the fact that we are teaching children who need all facets of an education.” Marchand said the district should “prioritize professional development where our teachers can receive the most progressive and effective education tools and bring them back to our classrooms.”

Jennifer Maselli

BACKGROUND: Maselli, 44, has lived in the district for 42 years. She is a 1991 Locust Valley High School graduate. Maselli, a staff writer from 1998 to 2002 for Information Week, a national trade publication covering business technology, is currently a freelance writer for such magazines as Scientific American. She is also an independent special education parent advocate. She coaches long-distance runners and owns a Long Island-based runner’s website, rocktherun.com. Maselli received a bachelor of arts degree in English literature from Hofstra University. She is a board member and past president of the district’s Special Education PTA and also serves on the board of the Locust Valley Middle School parent council. Maselli’s three children attend district public schools. She is running as a team with Brian Nolan and Margaret Marchand. This is her first run for the school board.

ISSUES: Maselli said that although Locust Valley is “a highly ranked district . . . student grades and academic rigor only meet a portion of a child’s development.” She said that, if elected, “my vision is to support a culture that gives teachers and administration freedom to explore innovative modes of instruction.” Maselli said her goal is “to motivate students and to allow them to develop their passions.” She explained: “Supporting the whole child should be the main focus for the board of education.” Maselli supports increased security at district school buildings, including constructing new entry vestibules at the middle school and high school. She said the school should also hire social workers to meet the social and emotional needs of students.

Brian T. Nolan

BACKGROUND: Nolan, 38, was raised in the district and is a 1998 graduate of Locust Valley High School. He is an assistant principal in the Manhasset School District. Nolan has a bachelor of science degree in education and a master of science degree in special education, both from LIU Post. He also received a certificate in school building and school district leadership from LIU Post, and has state certification in elementary education, nursery school through sixth grade, and special education, K-12. A local firefighter for 22 years, Nolan is a captain of Engine Co. No. 2 and an ex-chief of the Locust Valley Volunteer Fire Department. He has two children, one a student in a district public school, the other not yet of school age. Elected to the school board in 2015, he currently serves as its president.

ISSUES: Nolan said that if he is re-elected he will “look forward to continuing to work toward improving public trust and to make necessary adjustments” to the way the school board interacts with residents. “As an educator,” he said, “I am passionate about curriculum, high level instruction and providing opportunities for all students.” Nolan said he will continue to advocate for “safety and security in all of our buildings at each campus.” He continued, “I will encourage a clear focus on social emotional development. Nolan said he knows how to provide “a world class education while being fiscally responsible.”

Tyler Raciti

BACKGROUND: Raciti, 19, has lived in the district for 16 years. He attended district elementary and middle schools and is a 2017 Locust Valley High School graduate. Raciti is executive director of Pro-Neo: the OverDose Reduction Group, a nonprofit that advocates mandating Narcan as an antidote for opioid overdoses in all high schools. Raciti is studying for a bachelor of arts degree in political science and economics at Pace University in Manhattan. He is freshman president of the Pace student government association, and vice president of the Pace Sustainability Initiative, which makes eco-friendly proposals to the university. He is a founding president of the Locust Valley High School Business Club. This is his first run for the school board.

ISSUES: Raciti said that despite being 19, “I’m no stranger to politics.” He said he is a “grass roots candidate” and has gone door-to-door at hundreds of homes in the community to meet with voters and discuss their concerns. Raciti said he has seen fellow students struggling with “anxiety, depression and drug abuse.” To address the problem, he said, the school district “must invest in programs to bring awareness on mental health and provide funding for counseling and psychological services.” Raciti said that in high school he founded “a nonprofit organization that drafted legislation to mandate Narcan in all New York State schools.” If elected, He said he plans “to create mental health workshops for students, teachers and administrators” in the district.

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