In addition to voting on school district budgets on Tuesday, residents will decide whether to reward three Board of Education trustees — two in the Elmont School District and one in the Franklin Square School District — with new terms or replace them with first-time candidates.
In Elmont, incumbents Anthony Maffea Sr. and Deniece Walker are seeking re-election against the Rev. A. Guiton Burt and Raymond Sims, respectively. In Franklin Square, challenger Joe Lewinger is looking to unseat Jean Fichtl.
Maffea, who has served on the board for six years, said he enjoys the work the school board does and considers his service a significant way of giving back to the Elmont community that, he said, “opened up its arms” to his family. A banker for 24 years, Maffea said he is particularly proud of the district’s ability to maintain its educational programs in the “new tax-cap world,” and that its biggest challenge is to maintain the foundation of quality programs for children. He has also been vocal about his displeasure with increased testing, saying that it merely creates stress for children and anxiety for parents.
“That’s one of the challenges also,” Maffea told the Herald. “How are children supposed to focus on the rest of their schoolwork if they have all these other tests taking up so much of their time?”
Burt, his challenger, said he believes his background in human services would help him to succeed on the board, and that the district is in need of extra services that would better meet the needs of Elmont’s middle-income demographic. He also said that the district’s six buildings need upgrades, and that he would focus on addressing the need for modernization and renovations if he were elected. Ultimately, Burt said, his people skills would benefit the board and help it connect with the community.