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Judson And Lee Vie For Hicksville BOE Seat

Phil Heckler is unopposed for Anthony Edelman’s seat

Hicksville residents will take to the polls on Tuesday, May 15 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. throughout the district to vote on the 2012-13 budget and board of education candidates.

Incumbent trustee Maureen Lee will face Brenda Judson for one seat on the board, while Phil Heckler is running unopposed for Anthony Edelman’s outgoing seat.

The candidates recently took some time to answer questions regarding their qualifications, with their answers following.

Brenda Judson

1. What are some of the issues facing the school district today?

Decreased state aid is a serious concern given the demands placed on taxpayers to recoup budgetary shortfalls. Every parent, guardian and property owner recognizes the need for a quality education, schools that offer our children quality instructional programs, coupled with a diverse cultural arts and physical education/sports offerings. Continuing to ensure feasible class sizes, a diverse instructional program, which includes AP classes, world languages and technology integration all hinge on adequate fiscal resources.

2. How long have you resided in the district?

I have resided in the Hicksville School District for 32 years, moving to Hicksville in 1980.

3. Do you have children attending the schools?

I have two daughters, Jane and Shannon, who have attended elementary, middle and high school in the Hicksville School District. My oldest, Jane, graduated Hicksville High School in 2010 and is now attending Adelphi University majoring in art education. My youngest daughter, Shannon, graduated Hicksville High School in 2011 and is now attending Nassau Community College majoring in nutrition and business.

4. Is there anything you would like see change in the district?

I’m proud to be a Hicksville resident and respect the values of my friends and neighbors in our community – values of family, hard work, community pride and unity of fellowship. I would look to work with the board of education and Hicksville School District administration and staff to seek new forums for reaching out to all residents within the community, including our wonderful senior citizen population to ensure that their voices are heard and appreciated.  

5. What are your qualifications?

I bring extensive experience and vision gained through volunteer service in the Hicksville School District and my professional work as a senior level manager and administrator in the federal government.

For the past 12 years, I have served in Hicksville’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in the capacity of president for the Special Education PTA (SEPTA), Fork Lane Elementary School and the Hicksville Middle School as well as treasurer at Fork Lane Elementary School. I have also served on countless PTA committees and parent/school committees including Hicksville High School’s site-based team and the Hicksville School District curriculum council.

In my professional life, I have successfully negotiated and administered numerous fiscally responsible budgets of over $200 million, reorganizations, program audits, designed alternative resolution programs for labor-management disputes and a nationally recognized workforce diversity program. My management and leadership skills are proven with over 20 years of experience directing a staff of 248 managers, supervisors and unionized employees.

6. What do you professionally?

I serve as a federal government senior level manager for a law enforcement agency. I have spent my entire professional life as a public servant in the federal government, working my way up from the support staff ranks to the position of senior level manager.

7. Why are you the candidate of choice?

I want to give back to Hicksville what it has given to my family - a high quality education for my two daughters.

In my professional life, I serve as a senior level manager with major responsibility for budget execution and management as well as resource management for a large federal government law enforcement agency. My 36 years of experience equip me with many of the skills needed to effectively represent the interests of taxpayers who are school community stakeholders in the Hicksville School District. I offer my objectivity, collaborative approach, respect for the entire community with its rich diversity and am willing and eager to invest the significant time and energy required to serve on Hicksville’s Board of Education.

Phil Heckler

1. What are some of the issues facing the school district today?

Now, more than ever, with the state and federal government shifting the tax burdens to local governments, a 2 percent cap, and a stagnant economy, it is vital that more interested taxpayers have a detailed understanding of the school budget and related issues. These challenges can undermine our children’s education unless we can successfully address both the revenue and spending side of the budget.

2. How long have you resided in the district?

I have resided in the district for 37 years.

3. Do you have children attending the schools?

Two of my three grandchildren attend Hicksville schools. My two daughters graduated from Hicksville schools.

4. Is there anything you would like see change in the district?

I would like to see a committee structure designed to get into the details of pressing issues such as: the impacts of a tax cap, class size, State mandates and state aid. These issues will require the collaboration of groups of Hicksville residents, as well as other interested parties including the administration, teachers and in some cases, students. I believe that groups are smarter than individuals.

5. Why are you the candidate of choice?

I am a 37-year resident, whose two daughters graduated Hicksville public schools, with two grandchildren presently attending Hicksville schools. A senior level manager with 40 years’ work experience, including working with citizen groups with diverse backgrounds to reach common goals, and decades as a volunteer for various organizations, including past president of the Gregory Museum, I believe I am best qualified to fight for a quality education for our children while helping to control tax levies that negatively impact so many taxpayers in Hicksville.

6. What do you professionally?

I am a semi-retired consulting engineer.

7. What are your qualifications?

I am action-oriented and have a proven record of achievement, as senior level manager with almost 40 years work experience, I managed budgets that exceeded $100 million, oversaw purchasing and managed upwards of 400 employees. In Vietnam, I served as a first lieutenant of a heavy construction platoon building highways.

Maureen Lee

The Hicksville Illustrated News’ attempts to contact Maureen Lee were unsuccessful.

Lee, based on her submissions to the Hicksville Illustrated News during her candidacy in 2009, has been a resident of Hicksville for more than 40 years and was involved with the PTA and St. Ignatius CYO up until her husband’s death in 1982. At that time, the mother of three said she turned her attention to raising her children and obtaining full-time employment, which included 22 years with the Hicksville School District’s Facilities Department prior to retiring in August 2006. Her three daughters attended elementary, middle and high school in Hicksville and her grandchildren attended the Woodland Elementary School.