Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 14 May 2010 00:00
Elizabeth Kellogg is a challenger running for the Roslyn School District board of education. She issued the following statement on her candidacy:
“I am delighted to say that I grew up in Roslyn, my parents have lived here since 1966, and I am a product of the Roslyn schools. My husband Bob and I returned 16 years ago to reside here with the intention of giving my two boys the same quality of education that I received.
“I hope you agree with me that the delivery of the highest quality education to our children should be the top priority of our School Board. I can make this happen.
“I am currently working as a college teacher. I am also a member of a union. I believe I can bring a unique perspective to the Board. Moreover, I have more than 30 years of experience as a Senior Vice President Creative Director in advertising. I have hired and supervised a large staff of diverse individuals, and have had fiscal responsibility for multi-million dollar advertising budgets, delivering our projects on time and within budget.
“In these hard economic times, our school district is faced with increasing operating costs while remaining committed to delivering the high quality of education in our schools. As you well know, school budget issues and higher taxes always have the attention of a frustrated electorate. 2010 is no exception.
“There are many solid business solutions that can have an immediate impact in cost savings. Let’s get smarter about the way we do things. Here are a few ideas, and if I’m elected to the Roslyn School Board I will start by initiating the following actions:
• Consolidation of purchases with other school districts, such as heating and transportation fuels.
• Shared busing of out-of-district busing, i.e., BOCES, special schools, etc.
• Establish a Nassau County school purchasing body to take advantage of quantity discounts on everything from paper to books.
“But it isn’t all about money. If I’m an elected member of the Roslyn School Board, I want our kids to have access to the best teachers, the best learning resources, and the best school environment. I will listen to parents and their kids. I will solicit input and ideas from the community. We must strive to be cost effective and provide strong leadership during this economic downturn.
“To be able to help shape the future of the school system is one of the most important responsibilities I can undertake.
“I am proud to say my sons each graduated from Roslyn High School and are currently attending colleges in New York. I believe in this community, and would welcome the opportunity to give back to our community—one that has given so much to me.
“We all live very busy lives — I know this isn’t a national election but local elections are also important,” Ms. Kellogg concluded. “Getting to the polls can make a difference. On May 18, please remember to vote and thank you for your consideration.”
Bruce Valauri is a challenger running for the Roslyn School District board of education. He issued the following statement on his candidacy:
“I believe in community service, the highest academic standards and prudent fiscal responsibility.
“I am a dentist and have successfully maintained my practice in Manhattan for over 25 years. I am involved in graduate dental education and have served on several boards of national and local professional groups, often holding leadership positions. I have experience working as a team member to deliberate and make appropriate recommendations and decisions.
“My experience in advanced education spans over 20 years. I am an assistant clinical professor at NYU College of Dentistry. I hold the position of graduate program director of the Prosthodontic Residency Program at the NY Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. There are fewer than 50 such accredited programs nationwide. I am honored to care for our veteran service men and women.
“I believe education is the key to providing opportunities in life. My wife, Geri and I chose to move to Roslyn six years ago with the birth of our twin daughters. Roslyn was our first choice to raise our girls.
“As a trustee my focus will be to create budgets that reflect the concerns of the taxpayers and needs of our students. I will work to continue the recent efforts to enhance our facilities and to maintain our student body’s achievements in academics, athletics and the arts.
“We entered the community during a time of turmoil. Roslyn has made great strides in its recovery, but there is still much to be done. Our community is facing many economic challenges. With my collective experience in business and teaching, as well as serving on numerous professional boards, I believe I will be a strong asset to our board of education, to help carry our mission of educational excellence and fiscal responsibility forward.
“Thank you for your consideration,” he concluded. “I welcome the opportunity to serve our community. Please vote for me, Bruce Valauri, on Tuesday, May 18.”
Kim Hunter is an incumbent school board member running for re-election. She issued the following statement on her candidacy:
“My husband, Timothy, a longtime Roslyn resident, and I have lived in Roslyn Heights for ten years, and have three children attending Roslyn Schools. I am a New York State Licensed day care provider and owner/director of the Truelight Family Daycare Program in Roslyn Heights. My program services children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age. In addition I hold an Internship Certificate to teach both General Education and Students with Disabilities, and am currently working as a substitute teacher. I have a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and am in the process of completing my Master of Science Degree in General and Special Education.
“For the past three years I have been a member of the Roslyn School Board. Prior to serving as a board member I volunteered my time on the district’s Budget Advisory Committee and Citizens Audit Committee. I have budget experience working as a Community Coordinator for the New York City Housing Authority’s Department of Citywide Programs and Contract Management. In this position I worked with the Authority’s Research, Fiscal and Budget Departments obtaining funding approval, and maintaining statistical data for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s semiannual reports.
“As a current board member I have worked to accomplish many things for our community. I was an integral part of the team that stabilized Central Administration, resulting in a wide array of improvements in communication and relationships. I participated in the settlement of the teacher’s contract, which includes a one-year wage freeze, deferred increment, increased health contribution and additional instructional time for Roslyn’s elementary school students. There are two consecutive years of 1 percent budget increases with this year having the second lowest tax levy in Nassau County. Educationally, I helped establish an academic summer program for Roslyn students, the Columbia writing project for elementary school students, business classes in the High School, The Hilltop Academy, and algebra for all in the middle school. Over the last three years our district has seen many improvements to our buildings and grounds, some of which include the Middle School Auditorium, the High School Turf Field, repairs to windows, doors, roofs, and countless other facility projects. I have worked to advance technology by putting smart boards in our classes, purchasing rovers to enhance instruction, improving our communications with our phone systems and Connect Ed and boosting our security by implementing electronic ID cards for High School students. If this budget passes, as I hope it will, we will be able to provide laptops to every fifth grade student in the district.
“The biggest challenge facing residents is balancing Roslyn’s need for educational excellence and a high tech cutting edge physical plant with an attention to keeping costs down.
“To do this, responsible budgeting is an imperative,” Ms. Hunter concluded. “Since 80 percent of our budget goes to salaries and benefits, we must keep employee contracts in an appropriate range. Our current contract must be renegotiated next year. I want to make sure that these contracts are negotiated in a way that is fair to employees and tax payers alike. Another way to keep spending down is to provide as many services for ourselves as possible. An example of this would be the recently developed in-house print shop which cuts the need to outsource large print jobs at market rates. There are many other things we can do to cut spending. I am committed to making sure they are explored.”
Stanley Stern is an incumbent school board member running for re-election. He issued the following statement on his candidacy:
“It has been my honor to serve on the Board of Education since May 2004, first as president for two years and then as a trustee. During my tenure, I have watched the Roslyn Schools survive the aftermath of a terrible scandal while endeavoring to achieve excellence in education, once again. I feel privileged to have participated in the actions, which have brought about this great improvement. Despite difficult economic times, the Board has presented this community with a budget-to-budget increase of about 1 percent during the last two years and a tax levy increase of 0.66 percent, this year. This is the second lowest increase in all of Nassau County. Roslyn has a fiscally responsible budget and the necessary reserves to avoid big tax spikes in the near future while preventing the firing of teachers which would result in increases in class size and/or the reduction of our enhanced academic programs. In addition, we have repaired many of our facilities, upgraded technology, improved curriculum, hired an excellent superintendent, and employed an assistant superintendent in hopes of further improvement in the delivery of educational services to the children of this community.
“My wife, Bobbie and I have lived in Roslyn for more than 40 years. We have two married children, both graduates of Roslyn High School. They have chosen to live in Roslyn, also. My two eldest grandsons graduated from Roslyn High School and I currently have three other grandchildren attending the middle and high schools. Bobbie has been the director of the Roslyn Day Care Center for many years and now serves as Executive Director of the Roslyn After School Program. I am a retired elementary school principal and have had a successful private business for more than 15 years. We are proud of our record of service to our friends and neighbors in Roslyn. I do hope you will re-elect me as a Roslyn School Board Trustee so that I can continue to serve.
“Schools in the United States, and particularly in New York State and Nassau County, are facing severe financial problems. The State is threatening to severely cut back funding for our schools. The MTA is taxing our payroll! Health insurance and pension costs keep rising and will be growing more costly in future years. Many members of our community are suffering in this economic decline, and seniors particularly, are finding it difficult to keep up with constant increases in taxes. We must work together to determine ways of maintaining a good educational system in Roslyn and to avoid unnecessary expenses resulting in cost overruns. I believe that my experience as an educator and as a businessman give me the qualifications and the expertise to face these problems in a responsible and innovative manner.
“I urge all voters to come out on May 18 to vote for the budget and the propositions, which are being presented to the public,” he concluded. “I do hope, also, that you will consider re-electing me to the Board of Education. I promise to serve, as I have in the past, for the benefit of all members of this community.”