TODAY'S PAPER
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Long IslandEducation

Wyandanch school district

VOTING

7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Administration building.

THE BUDGET

The district proposes a $71,318,257 budget for 2018-19, a 3.76 percent increase from the current $68,730,714. The tax levy would increase by 1.4 percent, from $21,358,673 to $21,657,606.

This increase equals the district’s tax-cap limit of 1.4 percent, so a simple majority will be required to approve the budget.

School taxes on the average single-family home would increase by 1.4 percent, from $6,568.53 to $6,660.49.

Raises for teachers in the proposed budget are subject to contract negotiations.

The proposed budget would include seven new teachers: four are for middle school, one art teacher for elementary and two elementary general education.

  • District website:

wyandanch.k12.ny.us

THE CANDIDATES

Three by-seat positions on the school board are open. Donna Beavers is challenging incumbent Shirley Baker; Moneik Hatcher is challenging incumbent Charlie Reed; and Keisha Guerrier and Ronald Fenwick are running for Thomas Tolliver’s seat. Tolliver is not seeking reelection.

Terms are three years.

Baker, Reed and Guerrier are running as a team. Beavers, Hatcher and Fenwick are running together as well.

Shirley Baker

BACKGROUND: Baker, 72, has lived in the district for 52 years and served on the school board since 2003. She has three grown children who graduated from Wyandanch High School. A retired state worker, she served in a number of executive positions with Local 430 CSEA. She received her associate degree and certification in counseling from Touro College in Huntington in 1992. She is a member of the Long Island Association of Black Trade Unionists.

ISSUES: Baker did not return a candidate information form or respond to a request for comment.

Donna Beavers

BACKGROUND: Beavers, 43, is a lifelong resident of the district and a graduate of Wyandanch High School. She has three sons who are students in the district and one who is an alumni, now attending Suffolk County Community College. She works as a beautician. She previously worked as a certified nursing assistant.

ISSUES: Beavers said she would like to develop a plan that would get more parents involved in district activities and fundraising. She believes there is a need for more extracurricular activities and class sizes are too large. If elected, she would advocate for more district funding and to find resources for more classroom space, she said. “A major theme of this campaign is change,” Beavers said.

Ronald Fenwick

BACKGROUND: Fenwick, 39, is a bus driver for Huntington Coach and is a lifelong resident of the district. He graduated from district schools in 1996. He holds an associate degree from Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts. He has one daughter and one stepdaughter who are students or graduates of the district. This is his first time running for the school board.

ISSUES: He would work to improve college and career counseling in the district for high schoolers. “I didn’t have a clue about what college was like and what were the options after graduating from high school,” Fenwick. He said he would also keep a closer eye on how funds are managed in the district and the hiring of family members who may be unqualified for the jobs that are posted. He would also like to develop better programs for the inclusion of special education students.

Keisha Guerrier

BACKGROUND: Guerrier, 33, a physician at Northwell Health, has lived in the district for 12 years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from New York Institute of Technology and a medical degree from the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Cuba.

ISSUES: Guerrier said she would use her strong background in project management to help implement literacy programs in the district, which she believes will help raise test performance. “Overall, I think the key to improving test scores will be to improve literacy in the district,” Guerrier said. In addition to new strategies for test-taking and upgrading technology, Guerrier said she would also advocate for more education opportunities for district workers “because if we are looking at helping our kids, we need to also look at the environment they’re in.”

Moneik Hatcher

BACKGROUND: Hatcher, 42, is a companion caregiver and works with people with developmental disabilities. She has lived in the district for 28 years. She received a high school diploma from the Long Island Educational Opportunity Center in 1996 and attended Suffolk County Community College. She is involved with Wyandanch for Change. She has three children attending elementary and middle school in the district.

ISSUES: She would like to see a new school built in Wyandanch. “We need more adequate class space, more extracurricular activities and enhanced curriculum for our students,” Hatcher said. She said she would work to secure new borrowing for the school as well as new streams of funding for technology upgrades. “We need these things without raising taxes and without burdening our community.”

Charlie Reed

BACKGROUND: Reed, 70, is a retired draftsman on property surveys for KeySpan Energy and National Grid. He has lived in the district for 54 years. He received an associate degree from Farmingdale State College in 1978. He has three children who graduated from the Wyandanch district. He is vice-chair of the Wyandanch Community Development Corporation, which helps oversee the Wyandanch Rising development. He was first elected to the school board in 1987 and served for 12 years before he was reelected in 2012.

ISSUES: Reed says the district needs to hire more bilingual teachers and find more classroom space so the district can continue to grow the curriculum.

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