On Tuesday, May 20, the Floral Park-Bellerose School District (FPBSD) will hold its elections and budget vote. Voter registration is on May 12 from 4 to 8 p.m. at both schools. The budget public hearing is on May 12 at 7:30 p.m. at John Lewis Childs School. The ballots contain four items: Floral Park-Bellerose UFSD budget; one trustee for Floral Park-Bellerose UFSD; Sewanhaka Central High School District budget; Sewanhaka Central High School District bond proposition. This year’s candidates for the FPBSD election are Jennell Horan and Elizabeth Rossi.
Incumbent, Horan, 51, serves as the school board’s vice president. She has lived in the school district for 15 years and has four children.
Rossi, 44, is challenging Horan for the seat. She has lived in the district for 39 years and has two children.
Both candidates provided statements about what they feel is the most important issue facing the district. From Horan:
“My family and I moved to Floral Park over 15 years ago. Having four young children, I recognized the importance of getting involved with their school and dove right in. First, volunteering for almost every committee in PTA, and eventually becoming the president.
“Next I was onto the Shared Decision Making Committee which in our district is an important component of crucial procedural decisions which affect the children on a day-to-day basis. Composed of parents, teachers and administrators working together for the well-being and safety of the children and the district, the experience was invaluable.
“Six years ago I became a Floral Park-Bellerose School District board trustee. While being very challenging especially in these fiscally trying times, it has been the most rewarding. Education is going through reform never seen before. Every district is required to adhere to state mandates that are expensive and controversial. But effectively working with our taxpayers and staff, I am proud of the accomplishments of the district. Improving curriculum, upgrading technology, new playgrounds, extended day kindergarten and making our buildings safer and more secure are just some of the excellent things happening in our district.
“Now more than ever, I believe that my experience, knowledge and effectively working with the community is crucial. I am proud of this district and look forward to exiting new accomplishments making us even stronger and more successful.”
“My goals if elected BOE trustee are to:
• Slow down changes in curriculum and testing
• Help de-emphasize the focus of STAR testing
• Better facilitate special needs programs and parental notification of service changes
• Attract and retain the best teaching staff with deserved step increases as contracted
• Expand parental input on curriculum and grading changes
• Introduce real teacher input on curriculum and grading changes
• Expand arts programs to include dance and theater
• Find creative ways to fund full day kindergarten and an expanded (every day) Pre-K program
• Act as faithful advocate of teachers and parents in educating children”