SPENDING $94,353,656, a 0.85 percent increase from the current $93,555,280.

TAX LEVY 2.34 percent increase, from $58,744,396 to $60,117,316. This is equal to the district's tax-cap limit of 2.34 percent, so a simple majority vote is required for approval.

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS Includes a contract increase of 1.50 percent and a step increase of 1.76 percent. As part of a unified sports program, the district is adding four teams — girls and boys basketball and volleyball teams in the middle school, so it is adding coaching stipends. It also is adding a high school co-curricular debate team.


7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Suffolk County Community College’s Sayville Center, entrance off Greeley Avenue. www.sayvilleschools.org


Incumbents Norman deVenau and Maureen Dolan are unopposed for their by-seat positions, with terms of three years. Three candidates — James J. Bertsch Jr., Jaime Hechtman-Ulloa and Kyle Valentine — are running for a one-year term left on the vacant seat of Deborah Van Essendelft, who died.

James J. Bertsch Jr.

BACKGROUND Bertsch, 49, is an assistant principal with Nassau BOCES. He is a former social studies and English teacher and high school administrator. He earned his doctorate at St. John's University in Queens, his master's at Colorado State and his bachelor's at St. John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota. He is a co-founder of the Greater Sayville Civic Association and part of a local team raising funds for the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Navy SEAL Museum under construction in West Sayville. He has two children in district schools.

KEY ISSUE "In today's post tax-cap era, the key issue is maintaining the educational program and setting priorities. How do we preserve Sayville's existing variegated and rich school life? It's all about setting priorities."

Jaime Hechtman-Ulloa

BACKGROUND Hechtman-Ulloa, 55, is a customer service representative. She earned her associate degree in business administration at Sullivan County Community College and is studying public administration at St. Joseph's College, where she is enrolled in a combined bachelor's-master's degree program. She is a member of the Kiwanis Club, the Greater Sayville Civic Association and the National Women's Political Caucus. Two children have graduated from Sayville schools, one is due to graduate this year and her grandson is in first grade.

KEY ISSUE Hechtman-Ulloa wants to use her advocacy skills on behalf of children and add diversity with her bilingual Spanish language skills. "It's important we get our children credentialed and the internships they need so that when they are leaving school they are prepared for life after high school. We need to help them to be lifelong learners. We have to prepare our kids for 2030."

Kyle Valentine

BACKGROUND Valentine, 31, is an assistant principal. He earned his bachelor's in special education and his master's in education, both at Dowling College. He is on the board of Leeway School, a nonprofit special ed preschool in Sayville. He has a son who's not yet of school age.

KEY ISSUE Maintaining and enhancing programs for all students in light of the 2 percent tax cap, and adding diversity in school staff are important. "We need to keep what we have and try to enhance what we offer with more innovation and technology."

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