Good Morning
Good Morning
Long IslandSuffolk

Rocky Point school district


7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Rocky Point High School.


The district proposes a $78,780,743 budget for 2015-16, a 2.46 percent increase from the current $76,886,042.

The local tax levy would increase 1.7 percent, from $46,928,960 to $47,724,854.

The increase matches the state's tax-cap limit, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget.

The school taxes on the average single-family home would increase 1.7 percent, from $7,075 to $7,195.

The proposed budget includes a 1 percent increase and a 2.3 percent step increase in teacher salaries. There are no proposed cuts in staff, services or programs, and 3.7 full-time positions would be added.

District website:


Incumbent Scott Reh and newcomers Donna McCauley and Edward Casswell are vying for two at-large seats. Incumbent John Lessler is not seeking re-election. Terms are three years.

Edward CasswellBACKGROUND: Casswell, 50, has lived in the district for 23 years. He is the principal of Center Moriches High School and earned his bachelor's degree in history and political science from Stony Brook University in 1986 and a master's degree in education from Dowling College in 1988. He has a child attending Rocky Point High School and another child at Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School. He is the president of the Suffolk County High School Principals Association and a board member of the North Shore Little League. He is the former principal of Westhampton Beach and Mount Sinai high schools. He ran for the school board unsuccessfully in 2012.

ISSUES: Casswell said the time is critical to strengthen Rocky Point schools, with state mandates undermining local control of the district. "I think it's the perceived erosion of local control," he said, and said he would work with the community to improve the school district.

Donna McCauleyBACKGROUND: McCauley, 46, has lived in Rocky Point for 20 years and is a stay-at-home mother and volunteer. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology from Wagner College in 1990. She has a child attending Rocky Point High School, and has served as a Girl Scout leader for 11 years. She has volunteered at St. Louis de Montfort in Sound Beach, including as director of the Vacation Bible School program, and has received the St. Agnes Medal of Service for her volunteer work.

ISSUES: McCauley said the district faces issues of budget and declining enrollment, as well as opposition to the Common Core curriculum. She said she would help the board determine the future of the Next STEP program, which offered struggling students academic programs and support. "It requires some looking into whether these services are still needed and if students can get the help they need," she said. "At the same time, we want to make it fiscally prudent."

She noted that she is the only candidate who is not employed in the education profession and offers a different perspective as "a taxpaying parent."

Scott RehBACKGROUND: Reh, 48, has lived in the district for 40 years. He is the director of physical education, health, athletics, nursing and grounds for the Mount Sinai school district. He received a bachelor's degree in physical education from Adelphi University in 1989 and a master's degree in liberal studies in 1991 from Stony Brook University. He has a child at Rocky Point High School. He was first elected to the board to finish the last two years of a term in 2010, then elected for a full term in 2012. He was vice president of the board last year.

ISSUES: Reh said his background in education will help the district deal with the state mandates and tax-cap limit. "If re-elected to the board, I will continue to equally represent all factions of the district and tap into resources locally, regionally and nationally to assist the district in attaining its goals and remaining fiscally responsible," he said. "These issues are universal. I want to give every opportunity for every student to succeed."

Latest Long Island News