TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

West Babylon

BUDGET

SPENDING $114,748,701, a 3.34 percent increase from the current $111,038,065.

TAX LEVY 2.99 percent increase, from $72,301,812 to $74,464,588. This is equal to the district’s 2.99 percent tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote is required for approval.

TEACHER PAY / PROGRAMS Includes an average step increase of $2,598. The district also will hire a new guidance counselor for kindergarten through sixth grades.

WHEN | WHERE

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Administration Building and Santapogue Elementary School. www.wbschools.org

CANDIDATES

Incumbents Diane Klein, Dennis Kranz and Peter Scarlatos, as well as Kelly Hamblin and Chris Paolillo, are running for three seats, elected at-large. Terms are three years.

Kelly Hamblin

BACKGROUND Hamblin, who did not give her age, has lived in the district for 46 years. She is a special education teacher and curriculum coordinator. She received three degrees from Dowling College — a bachelor's in special education in 1994, a master's in reading in 1996 and a master's in school building leadership in 2017. She is part of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and a member of her local PTA and SEPTA chapters. She has one child attending a district school.

KEY ISSUE Hamblin said her focus would be on improving treatment of students with special needs, especially as the district moves to bring armed security guards to schools. "I'm interested in how the school handles children with medical needs and I'm somebody with that background to support it," she said. "And the whole safety issue — even with that it goes back to how they're going to handle that, especially with a special-education population in the school."

Diane Klein

BACKGROUND Klein, 54, is a West Babylon native and lifelong resident of the district. She is a teaching assistant in special education in the Northport-East Northport school district. She received her bachelor's degree in special education from Dowling College in 1997. Her two children attended district schools and her son now teaches in the Port Washington district. She is president of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the West Babylon Fire Department. She has served on the board for 12 years.

KEY ISSUE Klein sees the possibility of school closures, driven by enrollment, as the district's biggest issue. "The biggest concern is declining enrollment," she said. "We’re doing everything to avoid closing the schools. We’re trying to keep staff and programming." She added, "You hope that people move into the district with children. The trend is all over Long Island."

Dennis Kranz

BACKGROUND Kranz, who did not give his age, has lived in the district for 27 years. He is a retired New York police lieutenant and currently works as a regional director of security. He attended Queens College. His three children attended district schools. He has served on the board for four years.

KEY ISSUE Kranz did not respond to calls for comment.

Chris Paolillo

BACKGROUND Paolillo, 44, has spent most of his life in West Babylon. He is a regional sales manager for an industrial tool company and his wife is a teacher in the Malverne school district. He received his bachelor's degree in business from the University of Phoenix in 2007. He also is the administrative coordinator for ChangeNYS.org, a civic nonprofit focused on limited government, and a member of the West Babylon Main Street Organization and the West Babylon Chamber of Commerce. He has two children currently attending district schools.

KEY ISSUE Paolillo is focused on reducing the impact of state-mandated curriculum and state standardized tests, formerly called Common Core. "This is the West Babylon school district. We get to decide how we’re going to play," he said. "You can look at a lot of other districts and see how they are outspoken against Common Core. We can advise parents of their right to opt out."

Peter Scarlatos

BACKGROUND Scarlatos, 50, is a West Babylon native. He is a retired New York City firefighter and 9/11 first responder. He has one child currently attending a district school and another who graduated. His wife works for the West Babylon school district. He has served on the board for nine years.

KEY ISSUE Scarlatos said the incoming armed security in vestibules at the district's schools will be a positive step for safety. "I'm all for it," he said of the new policy. "We gave permission for our superintendent to move forward in starting to hire and interview and put into place where they're going to be. By September it should be done."


 

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