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Long IslandEducation

Westhampton Beach


7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Westhampton Beach High School.


The district proposes a budget of $56,072,052 for 2017-18, a 1.86 percent increase from the current $55,047,141.

The tax levy would increase 2.82 percent, from $28,333,386 to $29,133,648.

This increase is within the district’s tax-cap limit of 2.89 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.

School taxes on an average single-family home would increase 2.82 percent, from $4,718 to $4,851.

The proposed budget includes a 2.57 percent salary increase for teachers, comprised of a 0.75 percent contractual increase and an average step increase of 1.82 percent.

The budget would add 0.6 of a full-time equivalent reading teacher, 0.2 of a full-time equivalent English teacher, 0.4 of a full-time equivalent English as New Language teacher, 0.4 of a full-time equivalent physical education teacher and 0.4 of a part-time equivalent social studies teacher. It also would add an Advanced Placement Capstone course and reduce the size of secondary classes.


Dawn Arrasate, Tabitha Spizuoco and Kathleen Theune are running for one at-large seat. The term is five years.

Dawn Arrasate

BACKGROUND: Arrasate, 51, is a banker who has lived in the district for 20 years. She has a bachelor’s degree from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania and received her master of business administration from Adelphi University. She has two children in district schools. Arrasate serves as treasurer for the Westhampton Beach High School PTO.

ISSUES: Arrasate said she had developed an interest with school affairs at an early age, thanks to her father, who was a former superintendent in East Moriches. Arrasate said she wants to use her background in finance, budgeting and project management to help the district keep the budget under the tax cap and continue to provide arts, sports and other components she said were important to the district’s children.

Tabitha Spizuoco

BACKGROUND: Spizuoco, 38, is a self-employed consultant who provides assistance to small businesses with taxes, budgets, payroll, human resources, and accounting. She has lived in the district for 18 years. She has a bachelor’s degree from Stony Brook University. Her three children attend district schools. Spizuoco serves on several groups, including a Westhampton Beach PTO and the Westhampton Beach Playground Committee.

ISSUES: Spizuoco said her goal is to promote programs and curricula that encourage creativity by overseeing the budget process and working with committees that guide policy and school programs. Ultimately, she said, she wants to work toward getting the district to use grants for programs that foster collaboration skills, communication and civic and entrepreneurial literacy.

Kathleen Theune

BACKGROUND: Theune, 43, is a homemaker who has lived in the district for two years. She has a bachelor’s degree from Dowling College and a master’s degree in elementary education, also from Dowling. She is also a volunteer assistant volleyball coach for Westhampton Beach. She has two children in a district school. She also is president of the Westhampton Beach Booster Club and an advisory board member with Cohen’s Children Medical Center.

ISSUES: Theune said she wants to work toward maintaining the district’s educational and extracurricular programs at current or higher levels. Theune said she also wants to work toward keeping the district’s budget under the tax cap “to minimize the burden on our taxpayers,” she said. Part of that, she added, would be working with the unions to ensure the continuation of all district programs.

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