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Glen Cove PTA Holds ‘Meet The Candidates’ Forum

Five contenders for three open trustee seats

The Glen Cove Council of PTAs hosted a Meet the Candidates forum Monday night at Robert M. Finley Middle School that allowed members of the public to present questions to each of the five candidates running for the three open trustee positions.

Incumbent Trustees David Huggins and Gail Nedbor-Gross, along with candidates Eric Bailey, Donna Brady and Grace Slezak, had two minutes each to make their opening statements, and one minute to answer each of the proposed questions. The forum was moderated by City Court Judge Richard McCord.

Topics raised by those in the audience included the candidates’ views on special needs children and how they affect the district’s test scores, thoughts on the 2 percent tax cap, how to gain more parental involvement in the schools, positive aspects of the district versus what needs work, and how to go about improving the district’s AP scores.

The first question asked of the candidates pertained to their experience in the district; Trustees Huggins and Nedbor-Gross explained how they know more than the general public about what goes on in the district based on their ongoing training as board members Slezak mentioned how she has been attending board meetings for the past two school years and said she has met with parents and teachers to discuss their needs. Bailey said he has been very involved in the schools for the past five years, since his children began attending school and also said he has spoken to many parents about their concerns. Brady said she has been attending board meetings since moving to the district and has been involved in the schools through the PTA and various other committees.

Regarding the AP scores, Slezak said she is “looking to improve all scores” and would like to see “improvement at all levels.”

“We need data to correct the problem,” said Bailey. “We need to talk to the students themselves, find out what went wrong from their perspective.”

Brady mentioned “spending more time interacting and collaborating” on the part of the teachers could make an improvement, and Nedbor-Gross said, “We need to vertically align the curriculum” and have “better preparation in the year before” taking the exams. Huggins also agreed the discrepancy in AP class grades versus the test scores has been an ongoing problem that the board has been working on resolving.

During the closing statements, all five candidates indicated that they are eager to serve the district and are committed to the children and families of the district.

“I long to be part of the solution,” said Brady.