Written by Daniel Offner Wednesday, 30 April 2014 00:00
With term limits set to expire for three positions on the Levittown Public School Board of Education, challengers have emerged, sparking contended races for two seats currently held by incumbent trustees Michael Pappas and Peter Porrazzo.
Backed by the district’s teachers union, the two newcomers—Marianne Adrian and Karen Smith—hope to bring a different perspective to the school board on issues surronding its fiscal planning and communication with the community.
“Having developed strong relationships with teachers, administrators, legislators and parents has not only been important to my children’s educational development, but for all of our district members,” said Adrian, a Levittown parent. “I am committed to making sound decisions and choices that will benefit all of the children in the Levittown Schools, and in turn relate them to the actual needs and requests of our families and community members.”
Over the past year, Adrian has been an advocate for the Levittown school district, which she said is why she feels a position on the school board seems like the next natural step. Among her accomplishments, Adrian testified in the Senate Education Hearing, hosted
educational forums, attended the PTA legislative breakfast and worked with state lawmakers towards making comprehensive changes to education reforms which she feels has, “adversely affected not only our children, but our budget.”
A retired corrections officer and parent of two children in the Levittown schools, Smith said she hopes to bring a first-hand knowledge of issues to the table.
“I have been an active member of the PTA’s at Northside and Wisdom for years,” Smith said.
According to Smith, through her children’s extra curricular acitivties, she was able to estabish long-lasting bonds within the community.
“I aspire to strengthen the pride in our schools and community through empowerment and open communication,” she added.
Also on the ticket with Adrian and Smith, incumbent Frank Ward plans to run an unopposed campaign to keep his seat on the board.
“I like what both Marianne [Adrian] and Karen [Smith] stand for in terms of their vision and their take on the district,” Ward said.
Despite running against two fellow school board incumbents, Ward said that he has no hard feelings in his decision.
“I just look at it as if they saw something in me that they didn’t see [in the other two incumbents],” Ward explained. “But at the end of the day I have to go with my gut and do what I feel is best for the district.”
According to Peter Porrazzo, a six-year board incumbent, when he, Ward, and Pappas last made a run for office, three years ago, the group was unopposed.
“This is the first time since we’ve been elected that we’ve been challenged,” Porrazzo said.
As incumbents on the Levittown Board Of Education, Pappas and Porrazzo feel they bring considerable experience and knowledge to the table.
In a release, Pappas and Porrazzo said that despite the fact that Levittown will receive less state aid this year than in 2008-2009, that through their hard work, the district will maintain and even advance educational programming.
“Their hard work, dedication and financial stewardship has yielded great reward for Levittown—an increase in services for the community with a budget that is only three-quarters of a percent higher than it was four years ago,” the release states.
With only a few weeks remaining before local voters go to the polls, The Levittown Tribune will continue to provide coverage leading up to the school district elections on May 20.