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West Babylon school district


7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Santapogue Elementary School and the administration building.


The district proposes a $100,893,074 budget for 2015-16, a 1.60 percent increase from the current $99,308,888. The local tax levy would increase 1.89 percent, from $66,955,165 to $68,221,216.

The increase falls within the state's tax-cap limit of 1.96 percent, so a simple majority vote will be required to approve the budget. School taxes on the average single-family home would rise 2.37 percent, from $7,013 to $7,179.

The district said estimates of teacher salary increases are subject to negotiation. The budget would add three special-education teachers and three teachers of English as a Second Language.

District website:


Incumbents Lucy Campasano and Jennifer Wandasiewicz, as well as Raymond Cascio, John Evola and Todd Sheets are running for three at-large seats. Terms are three years. Stacy Villagran is not seeking re-election.

Lucy CampasanoBACKGROUND: Campasano, 67, has served on the school board a combined 20 years and serves as the school board president. Her four children all graduated from district schools and she has three grandchildren in the district. Campasano, a retired bank employee, serves as treasurer of the West Babylon Sports Parents and is a trustee for the West Babylon Health and Wellness Organization.

ISSUES: With the school district undergoing a $30 million capital improvement project, Campano said she brings the most experience to oversee the process. "This will be my fourth capital project," Campasano said. "I'm familiar with the budgets. I'm able to see things that perhaps a new person will not be able to see because I've done it before." Campasano said she has and "will continue to meet with our elected representatives from the state" to advocate for more funding for the district.

Raymond CascioBACKGROUND: Cascio, 49, is a retired NYPD detective who is running for the first time. He received his bachelor of science from SUNY Old Westbury in 1989, and after retiring from police work returned to get his bachelor of arts in social work from Stony Brook University in 2009 and his master's in social work in 2011. He serves as a youth soccer and basketball coach, and a volunteer counselor at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church. He also has served as a PTA board member at Forest Avenue Elementary and West Babylon Middle School. His two children attend third and sixth grade in the district.

ISSUES: Transparency of the district's spending is one of the issues Cascio said he would fight for as the district undergoes a $30 million capital improvement project. "I would just hope that the board is more transparent and user-friendly for the community, that they can get information out to the community without having the community jump through hurdles to get the information," Cascio said. He said he would also push for additional field trips for students not in the two grades now allowed to take them. "It would be positive for the kids to interact and have a hands-on experience to what they're learning in the classroom." With more than a quarter of district students eligible for free or reduced lunch, a federal indicator of poverty, Cascio said "those parents won't be able to get their kids to the planetarium or the museum to get hands-on learning."

John EvolaBACKGROUND: Evola, 50, is a retired NYPD officer who spent 13 years as a cop in a Brooklyn high school. He has served as a leader for West Babylon Boy Scout Troop 175, a youth volleyball coach and a NYPD Explorer leader for the program aimed at educating teens about law enforcement. Evola received his associate degree from Suffolk County Community College in 1986. He has a daughter in seventh grade and a son in sixth grade at West Babylon Middle School. His wife, Janet, is a teacher in the East Meadow school district.

ISSUES: Restoring school field trips and advocating for more taxpayer input on capital improvement projects are among the reasons Evola said he is running. "Voters are not really having a say with certain things," Evola said, adding he believed district voters should have had more input in the priority of projects being paid for by the district's $30 million capital improvement bond. With school field trips limited to two grade levels, Evola said he believed the trips should be included in the district's budget because they "enhanced" student learning. "I know what a great feeling those trips bring to students -- we shouldn't be taking all that away from the kids," Evola said.

Todd SheetsBACKGROUND: Sheets, 47, works as a supervisor in Newsday's circulation reporting department, conducting audits. He received his associate degree in business administration from Farmingdale State College in 2008. He serves on the Forest Avenue Elementary PTA and is a volunteer for the West Babylon Little League. His sister works for the district as a special-education aide.

ISSUES: Tighter oversight of the district's budget and adding field trip opportunities for students are some of the reasons Sheets said he decided to run. "I'm concerned about the budgeting process," Sheets said. "The district has a $100 million budget, yet we somehow can't afford field trips for the kids anymore, but we can afford new turf fields?" Sheets called the field trips "an educational tool" that he would fight to restore throughout the district.

Jennifer WandasiewiczBACKGROUND: Wandasiewicz, 50, is a registered nurse who has served on the school board for the past three years. She graduated with her nursing degree from Adelphi University in 1995 and is working on her master's at Stony Brook University. She has a son in 11th grade at West Babylon High, a daughter in eighth grade at West Babylon Junior High and a son in fifth grade at Tooker Avenue Elementary School. She previously served as PTA president for three years.

ISSUES: Ensuring teachers have "the resources they need" as the state grapples with adjusting to the Common Core curriculum, and focusing on the district's finances are among the reasons Wandasiewicz said she is running. "I would like to focus on helping the district to remain fiscally solvent," she said. "I don't believe my job on the board is done; there is a lot more work to do," Wandasiewicz said. She also said with a new school superintendent hired in January, she believed her previous experience on the board would be a "resource" to him.

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