The Week In Review-The Weekend Ahead

Meet The Washingtonville BOE Candidates

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

By Eugenia Moskowitz

The eight candidates vying for three open Washingtonville Board of Education seats gathered for a “Meet the Candidates” night from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Round Hill Elementary School organized by the Round Hill PTA with questions pre-submitted by district residents and read aloud and moderated by PTA president Abby Garguilo.

The questions covered topics such as: transparency and communication of BOE meetings via video or podcast; BOE supporting parents’ right to accept or refuse current standardized testing; salaries of teachers and administrators and its effect on retaining teachers; what each candidate can bring to the BOE and the school district community; why candidates are interested in taking a hand in the district community; the future direction of the district and its challenges if demographics change; and the search for the new superintendent.

For those who couldn’t attend, the entire event has been posted to YouTube in two parts under the headings (exactly as printed here) “MeettheCandidate Part1 Washingtonville” and “MeettheCandidate Part2 Washingtonville.”

In addition to three open BOE seats, the public will vote May 17 on a 2016-2017 school budget of $89,401,006, as well as a proposition to purchase 10 new buses for $945,000. Voting will be at the high school only.

(Bio of Patricia Valentine not available)

Corinne Cody

My husband David and I have been Washingtonville residents for 21 years. My daughters Jacquelyn and Morganne graduated from the district in 2006 and 2010.

I have 15 years of experience in public accounting; as a CPA my business experience includes all aspects of audits and financial reporting as well as tax preparation and consulting work for nonprofits, corporations, partnerships and sole proprietors from a broad spectrum of industries. I have 16 years of experience in the banking industry. I was in the 2013 class of Leadership Orange, a multi-dimensional leadership training program.

I have the business experience that will be an asset to the BOE. After 11 years on the WCSD Audit Committee, I have a good working knowledge of the district’s business department and financial condition. The BOE is responsible for providing leadership and governance to the school district and good governance is critical to the district’s ability to make difficult decisions, ask difficult questions and maintain open communication with teachers, staff, unions and residents.

The WCSD has current and ongoing challenges including filling the superintendent’s and the business superintendent’s positions as well as addressing the never ending burdens of state and federal mandates including the challenges of the Common Core.

I will be a productive and responsible member of the BOE for the district. My daughters had great educational experiences finishing 10th and 2nd in their classes and going on to respected universities. They also had rewarding athletic experiences in the varsity swimming program where they both still hold school and Section IX records. It’s important for all the district children to have the same opportunities my daughters had. The district needs to continue to provide the best academic and extra-curricular programs possible to allow each student to be involved in activities they can be a proud part of. The BOE needs to provide the oversight that allows the district to provide those programs in a fiscally responsible way.

I am currently chairperson and (since 2005) a member of the WCSD Audit Committee, a NYS mandated committee responsible for oversight of all audits and auditor selection of the district. Since 2013 I have been director on the Board of Directors of the Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council. Over the last 15 years I have been: treasurer and finance chairperson for Metropolitan Swimming, Inc.; official and referee for USA Swimming; officials’ area chairperson for the Hudson Valley North Swim Officials; treasurer of Viking Aquatic Swim Club; and for six years was treasurer of the Little Britain PTO.

Jeremy McVey

My wife, Sue, and I are 14 year residents of Washingtonville with our children, Jake(12), Katie (10) and Luke (6). I graduated with a Bachelor’s from West Point and an MBA from the University of Maryland. I’m heavily involved in the community through coaching football, baseball, soccer and basketball and volunteer opportunities at the school.

The educational future of the children of WCSD is my top priority; they are my special interest group. I am the only school board candidate running who has small children currently in the district. I’m passionate about doing all I can to ensure our kids are best prepared for the next step and I recognize the importance of a strong academic foundation in order to propel our children into a successful life after Washingtonville.

I am an independent leader and will make the hard and occasionally unpopular decision when necessary. People may not always like what I have to say but I will always be fair.

I have valuable experience on a board as I serve on the Purple Heart Hall of Honor Board of Directors. I manage a multi-million dollar organization and work with my team to ensure fiscal responsibility of the organization. Communication and transparency, even when it is unpopular, will be one of the cornerstones of my term. I think the detailed minutes of the Board of Election meetings should be shared with the public.

Data analysis, community education and feedback and the effect our decisions have on our children should drive BOE decisions. We need to take all concerns and variables into consideration before making decisions that could have an effect on the development and education of our children.

A board runs most effectively when there is diversity. A combination of institutional knowledge with fresh ideas is what will always be best for our community. I would like to be that new voice with fresh ideas.

From my service to our country and community, West Point, and working for ConEdison, I have what it takes to continue to be a leader for our school district.

Please contact me on Facebook or email with questions or concerns at any time. I hope to earn your support, I will always be accessible, and I will make you proud to call me your representative.

John Coughlin

I have served on the Washingtonville Board of Education for nine years and am up for re-election. I am currently the vice president of the BOE, a member of the Facilities Committee, and have previously served as a member of the Policy and Audit Committees.

My family has been in Washingtonville and Rock Tavern for nearly 25 years. I am a lifelong area resident who grew up in my great-grandparents’ house in Maybrook. I graduated from the Valley Central School District and then Mount Saint Mary College with Bachelor’s degrees in computer science and mathematics. I worked as a Global Project Manager for IBM in New York, Paris, Singapore and Australia, then joined Ford Motor Company’s Fleet Service Operations in 2015 as a Fleet Bid Specialist helping Ford identify and secure federal, state, and local government and municipal contracts for parts, service and vehicles.

My wife Frances and I have three children all attending school in the district: Mallory will graduate in 2016 and attend the University of Delaware to pursue a degree in Secondary Education in history; Sydney is a junior in high school, is interested in the field of psychology, and was a member of this year’s Odyssey of the Mind team that won first place regionally, attending the NYS competition in Binghamton; and John is finishing up eighth grade enjoying several after school programs, especially ski club and playing Eugene in this year’s school theater performance of Grease. He is looking forward to high school and participating in the JROTC.

John O’Neill

I have been a Washingtonville/Salisbury Mills resident for the past 23 years. My son and daughter are Washingtonville School District graduates and my two granddaughters are Washingtonville School District students.

My wife is a principal in the WCSD. I have been employed by the New York City Department of Education for 44-plus years, the past 23 years as a Human Resources Director. My experience includes hiring and processing school and administrative personnel; school and district staffing; grievances; state certification; providing professional development for school based staff on maintaining Human Resources data: collaborating with district/school leaders, school personnel, unions and community members to strengthen student achievement by helping to provide highly qualified teaching staff. My experiences enable me to have a full comprehension of what is needed for schools to be successful learning institutions.

Kathy Gualtieri

I have been a Washingtonville resident for 15 years. My husband Tony and I chose Washingtonville based on the reputation of the school system and the community. It was our desire that our children receive a quality education that would enable them to make choices in pursuing their own career path.

My children Briana (21) and Peter (16) are both juniors: Briana an Elementary/Special Ed major at the College of Saint Rose (concentration in math, minor in Spanish) and Peter a junior at Washingtonville High School. My children have been involved in the WCSD athletics (soccer and swimming) and music programs. My husband Tony volunteers as a soccer coach in Washingtonville and plays on the community soccer team.

I am a teacher of 25 years currently working in the Cornwall school district. I have taught various elementary grade levels and am currently working as an academic intervention specialist in reading and math. I previously taught as a catechist for St. Mary’s church. I have worked on committees to develop appropriate assessments in reading and writing that provide teachers with information to make informed decisions to target instruction for their students and provide feedback to students and parents. In my role, I have participated in numerous 504 and Committee of Special Ed meetings and have worked with teams to support the instructional/emotional needs of all our children. I enjoy teaching and am proud to say I’m a teacher. I also note that parents entrust schools and teachers with their children, which is exactly why I chose Washingtonville. I advocate for children, which is the job of a parent/teacher.

My goals, if elected, are to: work at establishing professional communication that benefits the needs of our children; ask questions that identify the needs of our children and schools and work together to pinpoint viable, fiscally responsible solutions that benefit our schools; review district policy; participate in the Curriculum Committee; support literacy; review safety and conditions of facilities; and review qualifications for future leadership roles in the WCSD.

Thank you for your consideration.

Joe Bonomi

I’m running for re-election to the Washingtonville School Board. I have been a board member for the past 6 years and prior to that was a charter member of the district’s Audit Committee for two years, where I gained an understanding of the school board and its functions prior to running for board membership.

I have lived in Orange County for the past twenty years. I have two children, one who graduated from Washingtonville and one currently in 10th grade. I am currently employed as a food service director at a local school, and prior to that was a small business owner in the Village. For twelve years I was a member of the teamster union member (local 1262). My wife, as well as my parents, were also union members.

I understand the challenges that we have been through and what lies ahead. I am an avid supporter of a parent’s right to “opt out.” I have been a member of the district’s Advocacy Committee as well as the county’s Fair Funding group for two years, advocating for fair funding, common core changes, and fair teacher evaluations.

I see the changing atmosphere in our town and neighboring towns and have attended town meetings with regards to this to stay informed. The dynamics of our towns and schools are going to change, and being informed and pro-active will help guide us, protecting and preserving what we all love about our community and our district. Having a board member with experience will help tremendously to do this.

I have been part of securing the project to bring our school structures up to date and allow us to finally have full time kindergarten. All unions are working under valid contracts. We have passed fair budgets with minimum increases in taxes, and continue our search for a new Superintendent.

Should you re-elect me, I will continue to always put our children’s education and opportunities first. I will continue to be a constructive and positive board member who respects the opinions of the other members and shareholders. I will listen to my community and act accordingly within the constraints of the law.

A diverse school board is a better school board, utilizing people from all walks of life in various careers. I do not have any family that works in the district and am independent of any ethical and legal conflicts of interest pertaining to contracts or negotiations.

Thank you for the support and confidence in me or the past 6 years and I hope you will allow me to continue to serve you in the future.

Kevin McIntyre

I moved to Washingtonville 42 years ago to accept a job teaching Science at Washingtonville High School. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Science Education and an M.S. degree in Educational Administration. I have spent 30-plus years training teachers in methods to make them more effective in the classroom. The last seven years I have been traveling throughout the United States and Canada and have worked with thousands of teachers in school districts ranging from inner city school districts to those in rural settings. I am an independent science education consultant for P/NW BOCES in Westchester on their Science 21 Program which services 2000 Elementary Classrooms as well as an adjunct professor and student teacher supervisor for SUNY Oneonta.

As a Washingtonville resident, I have worked with the St. Mary’s Youth Folk Group (early 1980’s) and have been a Boy Scout Leader for the past eleven years. Three years ago I organized a new troop in South Blooming Grove which is now going strong with over 20 boys performing service projects throughout the area.

The school district is currently without a Superintendent. I would like to offer a voice in choosing a leader who can navigate these rough educational times. Our school district had always been a model district attracting families who sought a quality education for their children. This is the primary reason my wife and I bought a home in Washingtonville to raise our two boys. We wanted the best education in the area for our children. My youngest son is currently a junior in 11th grade. Our school district plays a crucial role in attracting homeowners thus affecting the price of existing homes in the community. Quality educational programs are an investment in both our children’s futures as well as our property values.

The educational research shows us that the single most important factor to support and improve student achievement is not any single program we can purchase and implement. The single factor is having an effective teacher teaching our children. Effective teaching is not something that just happens; it is the result of continued training of our classroom teachers. There are new challenges ahead with new state standards in social studies and science. We must provide the training and resources to support our classrooms.

I would like the opportunity to serve you in a different capacity this time. I am asking for your support on May 17.

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