TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

North Shore school district

VOTING

7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday at North Shore High School.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $104,868,518.83 budget for 2018-19, a 2.698 percent increase from the current $102,113,514.82. The tax levy would increase 1.891 percent, from 84,488,574.83 to $86,086,545.69.

This increase is within the district’s tax-cap limit of 2.24 percent, so a simple majority will be required to approve the budget.

School taxes on an average single-family house would rise 2.94 percent, including a 1 percent shift in base proportion, increasing from $10,543.70 to $10,853.24.

The proposed budget includes a 1 percent contractual pay increase for teachers and a 2.4 percent step raise.

The spending plan funds an increase of 0.2 full-time-equivalent staff to cover reading support, Mandarin, general music and information technology resources.

Voters will decide two propositions. One seeks expansion of transportation services to students in grades 9-12, setting a new minimum at those who live 1 mile — rather than 1.5 miles — from school.

Another proposition seeks authorization for spending $3,443,912 from the district’s capital reserve to pay for school air-conditioning projects, replacement of the high school cafeteria’s ceiling, and other projects if funds permit. The district said neither proposition adds cost to the proposed budget.

District website:

northshoreschools.org

THE CANDIDATES

Andrea Macari, Timothy Madden, Anthony Stanco and Lisa Vizza are running for two at-large seats. Incumbents Herman Berliner and Antoinette Labbate are not seeking re-election. Terms are three years.

Andrea Macari

BACKGROUND: Macari, 40, is a clinical psychologist who is board certified in behavioral and cognitive psychology, with a private practice in Manhasset. She is an associate professor at Suffolk County Community College and publishes and presents research on mental health and suicide in professional journals and conferences. After graduating magna cum laude from Barnard College in 2000 with a degree in psychology, she earned a master’s degree in psychology with distinction in 2001 and a Ph.D. in clinical and school psychology in 2005 from Hofstra University. She is secretary of the North Shore district’s Legislative Action Committee and serves on other school and district committees. Macari also is on SCCC’s sexual harassment and anti-discrimination committee and is Executive Council representative for SCCC’s Faculty Association. Her daughter is in second grade at Glen Head Elementary School.

ISSUES: Macari said parents “overwhelmingly” shared concerns that this generation of students faces greater academic and social pressures that could lead to increased mental health and substance abuse problems. “Using my unique skill set as a clinical psychologist, I will be a proponent for ‘whole child’ education” and advocate for “fiscally responsible districtwide initiatives that emphasize social and emotional learning coupled with developmentally appropriate academic rigor throughout a student’s K-12 education,” she said. “We need . . . an evidence-based curriculum that addresses mental health, substance abuse and coping strategies.” Macari wants to “spearhead a communitywide mental health training program” called Mental First Aid, modeled on the concept of CPR training, in which participants would learn to recognize the signs of a mental health or substance abuse crisis and how to intervene. “It’s a low-cost but high-impact program,” she said.

Timothy Madden

BACKGROUND: Madden, 49, is a high school social studies teacher in the Great Neck school district. He grew up in the North Shore school district and graduated from North Shore High School before earning his bachelor’s degree from Tufts University in 1990. He received his master’s degree in American history from Hunter College in 1996. Madden served as a school board trustee in the Northport-East Northport system before moving back to the North Shore district in 2010. He and his wife produce an online newspaper serving the district, and he is a member of the Glen Head Glenwood Business Association. His three children are in the sixth, ninth and 11th grades. Previously, he served on the district’s Legislative Action Committee, and as a soccer, softball league and Little League baseball coach.

ISSUES: Madden praised the district’s successes while noting its financial challenges. If elected, he said, “I would support the district continuing its aggressive legal efforts to protect residents from a more significant [tax] shift from National Grid properties” to residents. He said he also would participate in efforts to address the effect of high water company rates while looking for efficiencies to cut district costs. Citing student testimony and a districtwide equity study, he said more work is needed to ensure a tolerant and inclusive culture. “People are much more receptive to new initiatives, programs and changes to existing policy when they get a chance to give their input,” Madden said.

Anthony V. Stanco

BACKGROUND: Stanco, who will be 64 on Tuesday, is a semiretired attorney licensed in Massachusetts, and a real estate investor who manages his commercial and residential properties. He grew up in the district and returned in 2011. Stanco taught in elementary and middle schools after receiving a degree in history in 1976 from SUNY Geneseo, and as a carpenter before obtaining a law degree from West Virginia University College of Law in 1996. He has volunteered on the nutrition committee at Glenwood Landing Elementary School for two years. His two sons are in the fourth and fifth grades.

ISSUES: The most important issue facing the district is drug and alcohol use by students, Stanco said. He believes that teachers should be given more leeway to interact with students to establish trust in teaching values. “We don’t just teach a subject, we teach children, so the relationship has to be there,” he said. “I think teachers have to be given the academic freedom not to spout their own beliefs, but to bring community values to the front of the classroom.” He said he believed an education that emphasizes strong values could discourage alcohol and drug use. “It’s in our community like any other,” he said. “We have over $30,000 in our budget per child . . . if they were getting truly educated, they would behave with a lot more self-respect.” Ultimately, he said, “it has to be everybody, from the principal to staff, talking about values.”

Lisa Vizza

BACKGROUND: Vizza, 54, is a social worker and psychotherapist who has lived in the district for 42 years. She graduated in 1986 from Hofstra University’s School of Business with a degree in information systems, and received a master’s of social work from Adelphi University in 2011. Since 2003, she has volunteered for many school committees and organizations, and currently is a member of the Committee on Special Education and the Committee on Preschool Special Education, co-president of the North Shore Coordinating Council of Parent Associations, and a member of the district’s Legislative Action Committee. She also is president of the Glenwood Landing/Glen Head Civic Association and co-trustee of the “Nicholas J. Vizza Fund for Pediatric Cardiology,” a charitable fund that helps children from poor countries get cardiac treatment at St. Francis Hospital in Flower Hill. Her eldest child attends Dartmouth College, and twins are in the 11th grade at the high school.

ISSUES: Vizza said “the special and burdensome tax issues facing district homeowners” are putting pressure on the district to cut costs. In addition to “responsible budgeting,” the district must continue to advocate for increased state aid, she said. “What we give to the state, we don’t see in kind coming back,” she said. “We didn’t obtain as much aid this year as we have in the past.” She said she advocated for budgetary adjustments that would add more exemptions under the state’s tax cap and for state money to defray the cost of unfunded government mandates. “I have a background in business and health, and worked in Northwell and LIJ with patients with acute and chronic conditions,” she said. “I think I’m very well-qualified to attend to social and emotional concerns, so I could evaluate programs” for which the board would have to approve funding.

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