TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Mount Sinai school district

VOTING

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Mount Sinai Elementary School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $58,054,485 budget for 2016-17, a 2.29 percent increase over the current $56,757,395. The tax levy would rise by 0.56 percent, from $38,475,208 to $38,691,900.

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

School taxes on the average single-family home would increase by 0.56 percent, from $8,749 to $8,798.

Under the proposed budget teachers would receive a 2.2 percent contractual salary increase beginning in November, plus a step increase of about 1 percent. Current programs and staffing levels would be maintained.

  • District website:

mtsinai.k12.ny.us

THE CANDIDATES

Incumbent Lynn Jordan and candidates Kerri Anderson, Anthony C. DiPaola, Robert McGrath and Michael P. McGuire are running for two at-large seat. Terms are three years.

Kerri Anderson

BACKGROUND: Anderson, 41, has lived in the district for seven years. She is a kindergarten teacher in the Shoreham-Wading River school district. Anderson has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from SUNY Oneonta and a master’s degree in literacy from LIU Southampton. She has three children, two of whom are old enough to attend district schools.

ISSUES: Anderson said the district should enrich its academic programs to “meet the needs of all students.” She advocated additional “autonomy and flexibility” for teachers “so they can be responsive to the needs of all learners.” Anderson spoke about the need to meet Common Core standards while being “mindful about instruction that is engaging, meaningful and differentiated to maximize the potential for every child.” She said the district should explore obtaining grants for professional development, workshops and training for teachers.

Lynn Jordan

BACKGROUND: Jordan, 75, has lived in the district for 41 years. She is a retired school nurse who worked at Mount Sinai Middle School for 19 years. Jordan earned a professional nursing diploma from Hunter-Bellevue Hospital School of Nursing. She was elected to the school board in 2007 and has three adult children, two of whom graduated from district schools.

ISSUES: Jordan said one of her goals as a board member is to “find ways to provide students with education they need to make it in today’s world.” Jordan said, “I am a believer in reading educational journals, doing research and listening to others.” Jordan said that she will “advocate for our district with legislators.”

Anthony C. DiPaola

BACKGROUND: DiPaola, 43, has lived in the district for 10 years. He is the chief executive of DiPaola Financial Group. DiPaola earned a bachelor’s degree in business from St. Joseph’s College, and is currently studying for a master’s of business administration degree in organizational management at St. Joseph’s College. DiPaola serves on the field advisory council for Ameritas Life Insurance Company in Cincinnati. His two children attend district schools.

ISSUES: DiPaola said he has been attending school board meetings for the past 10 years. He said he has provided input into the school district’s budget process and has offered the district ideas to save teachers’ jobs as well as saving money. “It’s vital that the board of education allocate monies appropriately so we do not have to pierce the tax cap,” DiPaola said. “It’s important to maintain school programs for our children such as Friends of the Arts, a music program and sports programs.”

Robert McGrath

BACKGROUND: McGrath, 37, has lived in the district for three years. He works as a high-voltage lineman for PSEG Long Island. McGrath graduated from West Islip High School and from the Northeastern Joint Apprenticeship and Training trade school. McGrath’s two children attend a parochial school. He is a coach for two teams in North Shore Little League Baseball.

ISSUES: McGrath said he believes there should be alternatives for students who want to learn a skill rather than take a traditional educational path. McGrath said he would like the district to explore installing solar panels on school buildings to save on utility bills. He said solar “is a possible revenue generator when school’s out of session in the summer time.” McGrath said that although he believes Mount Sinai is a “top district on Long Island,” his children attend a parochial school because he says, “it’s my choice, as is our family’s, to send our kids to a faith-based school.”

Michael P. McGuire

BACKGROUND: McGuire, 37, has lived in the district for two years. He is an accountant and has a bachelor’s degree in accounting from St. Joseph’s College and a master’s of business administration degree with a concentration in accountancy from St. Joseph’s College. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1997 to 2001, with the rank of corporal. McGuire has two children, one of whom is old enough to attend a district school. He is a former a football coach with the Police Athletic League in Rocky Point and a former religious education teacher at St. Anthony of Padua R.C. Church in Rocky Point.

ISSUES: McGuire said that, if elected, he would focus on increasing revenue without raising real estate taxes in the community. He said he would look for waste in daily operations. “I would also look at teachers’ contracts,” he said. “It’s a major portion of the budget.” He advocates restoring programs cut in previous years. “If they are increasing other parts of the budget, they should not be cutting kids’ programs,” he said.

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