The Herald Gazette is endorsing two Glen Cove City School District Board of Education incumbent trustees, Alexander Juarez and David Huggins, in Tuesday’s election. We believe they are best suited to make the most of their positions and will be effective in improving the lives of the district’s students.
Juarez, the current board vice president, has made it clear that he supports a coordinated effort between the district work and the Glen Cove community to help students realize their potential. He has been one of the most vocal members of the board over the course of his term, speaking at length during many meetings. Juarez often addresses residents directly, saying that he is willing to collaborate with them. He has said that if he is re-elected, he wants the board to host a community forum so district residents can voice their opinions on how to improve the schools. We support this idea.
Juarez is the only candidate with children who attend Glen Cove High School and Finley Middle School — one of his daughters is in high school, and two more are in middle school — so there’s no disputing his understanding of the district’s adolescents and teens.
Huggins’s dedication to Glen Cove schools is made evident simply by his history on the Board of Education. If re-elected, he would begin his fourth term on the board, having been elected the first time in 2009 (and taking the 2015-16 school year off). He is known for making a joke or two to lighten the mood at board meetings, but he has no problem becoming serious when he needs to be. He is passionate about drafting a bond to fund infrastructure improvements within the district, saying he believes the schools’ infrastructure and security are in immediate need of fixing.
Huggins graduated from GCHS in 1978, and his four children — now 31, 27, 6 and 4 — all attended or currently attend district schools. He has observed the growth of the district from a parent’s perspective for over two decades, and, given the ages of his younger children, he is set to extend that parental perspective for years to come, making him as invested in the well-being of district students as anyone.
While we are endorsing the incumbents for the two open seats, we were nonetheless impressed by the ideas and the passion of challengers Karen Ferguson, Lia Leone and Daniel Rios. We encourage them to continue attending school board meetings, become involved in any way they can and perhaps run again next year.
On Tuesday, however, we encourage voters to support Juarez and Huggins.