TODAY'S PAPER
83° Good Morning
83° Good Morning
Long IslandEducation

Plainview-Old Bethpage

SCHOOL VOTERS GUIDE

BUDGET

SPENDING $162,357,920, a 3.3 percent increase from the current $157,166,366.

TAX LEVY 1.99 percent increase, from $123,417,820 to $125,879,542. This is within the district’s 3.45 percent tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote is required for approval.

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS Includes salary increases subject to contract negotiations. The proposed budget adds three elementary school teachers to address enrollment growth; the full-time-equivalent of 2.5 positions for mental health and behavioral intervention, focusing on students' psychological well-being; and nine security staff to monitor evening and weekend school activities.

PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 2 authorizes the district to spend $7 million in capital reserve funds for fire alarm replacements at its elementary and middle schools; emergency generator replacements at elementary schools and Mattlin Middle School; and reconstruction and expansion of as much as 4,000 square feet at Pasadena Elementary School. Approval of the proposition will not affect the tax levy.

WHEN | WHERE

6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Jamaica Avenue School and administrative offices at Howard B. Mattlin Middle School. www.pobschools.org

CANDIDATES

Rebecca Davis, Jared Goerke, Tara Rock and incumbents Seth Greenberg and Susan Stewart are running for three seats, elected at-large. Incumbent Ronelle Hershkowitz is not seeking re-election. Terms are three years.

Rebecca Davis

BACKGROUND Davis, 50, has lived in the district for 11 years. She is executive assistant to the senior vice president of imaging technologies at Canon USA in Melville. Davis graduated from Roosevelt High School in Yonkers in 1986 and studied theater for two years at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan. From 2016 to 2018, she served on the Woodbury Jewish Center education committee. Davis organized a 2017 anti-bias event after anti-Semitic graffiti was found at a local park. In addition, she and her family raised $5,000 through a GoFundMe campaign and other sources for United Veterans Beacon House, a Bay Shore-based nonprofit organization that assists homeless U.S. military veterans. Her two children attend district public schools. This is her first run for the school board.

KEY ISSUE “I believe that it is always important to consistently find ways to positively impact the community that you live in. I have also never been afraid to stand up for what I believe, or what is right, especially for our children."

Jared Goerke

BACKGROUND Goerke, 20, was reared in the district and graduated from Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School in 2016. This month, he earned his bachelor's degree from SUNY Purchase with a double major in arts management and history. He works as a constituent liaison for state Assemb. Charles D. Lavine (D-Glen Cove). In high school, Goerke was elected vice president of the Gay Straight Alliance and was public relations secretary for the high school’s Drama Cadets. He was a member of the high school Thespian Honor Society. This is his first run for the school board.

KEY ISSUE “I want to focus on a drive for more financial aid for the district and protecting taxpayers without cutting programs. I want to be able to raise my kids with the same great programs that the district offers now, such as the phenomenal music and theater programs. There are a lot of kids for whom that’s the only place they can go where they fit in.”

Seth Greenberg

BACKGROUND Greenberg, 41, has lived in the district for 15 years. He is an attorney and a partner in Greenberg Burzichelli Greenberg law firm in Lake Success. A 1996 graduate of Hewlett High School, he earned a bachelor's degree in political science from The George Washington University and his juris doctor degree from St. John’s University School of Law. Greenberg served from 2017 to 2018 as chair of the New York State Bar Association's Labor and Employment Law section. He volunteers for Operation Stand-By, an American Bar Association pro bono project, which provides legal advice to members of the U.S. military. He is a member of the Midway Jewish Center. He has four children, three of whom attend district public schools and one not yet school-age. Greenberg was elected to the school board in 2013, re-elected in 2016 and is running for a third term.

KEY ISSUE “The toughest issue facing the Plainview-Old Bethpage school district, like with most Long Island school districts, is how to balance the needs of the students, the concerns of the parents, teacher resources and the financial investment of the community. The pressures from the tax levy cap, along with other federal and state mandates, continue to present challenges in maintaining and improving on programs and services. Despite these challenges, Plainview-Old Bethpage has been able to and must continue to provide a high-quality education to all students in the community.”

Tara Rock

BACKGROUND Rock, 38, has lived in the district for 10 years. She is an attorney and in-house counsel for a company that provides services to higher-education institutions. Rock has a bachelor’s degree in history from Brandeis University in Massachusetts, and a juris doctor degree from the Hofstra University School of Law. She also completed an education certification program at Brandeis. For a decade, ending in 2017, Rock served on the education law committee of the Suffolk County Bar Association. She currently trains school officials in addressing issues such as disability, sexual harassment, special education, bullying and discrimination. She is a member of USS Cares, a nonprofit organization that raises funds for charities serving children and families. Rock is a member of the Stratford Road Elementary School PTA and the Special Education PTA. She has three children, two of whom attend district schools and one who is not yet school-age. This is her first run for the school board.

KEY ISSUE "My goal is to remain fiscally responsible while always striving to improve our system and the delivery of instruction, taking into account the health, safety, social-emotional well-being and success of all of our children. It is vital to vote for someone with experience, who will make informed decisions, who will be able to ask important questions of the experts running our schools, who is able to work cooperatively among all stakeholders, and who you are confident is invested in the success of our schools now and into the future. My background and professional experience makes me uniquely suited to serve the Plainview-Old Bethpage community as a member of the Board of Education."

Susan Stewart

BACKGROUND Stewart, 51, is senior bookkeeper and finance coordinator at a medical publishing house in Huntington. She graduated in 1985 from Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School and moved back to Plainview in 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in food and natural science from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. She is a former executive board member at Temple Chaverim in Plainview. After holding leadership roles for 16 years in district PTAs, Stewart was elected to the Plainview-Old Bethpage school board three years ago. She serves on the district’s audit and policy committees. Her two children attended district public schools.

KEY ISSUE “My biggest focus is maintaining a balance between making sure that the students are receiving all that they need both educationally, socially and emotionally, while always being fiscally responsible. The board consciously came way under our tax-cap limit but we are still able to maintain our class sizes, our curriculum, funding for the arts and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). Through my actions, my votes and my comments, I’ve always put the children first.”

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

Latest Long Island News