As the community prepares to vote on the $107 million school budget, residents are also weighing their choices for the North Shore Board of Education. Five candidates are running — three incumbents and two challengers. The Herald Gazette endorses current board members Sara Jones, David Ludmar and Marianne Russo.
Jones, of Sea Cliff, is the current board president. She has served the district for the past six years, and in that time has committed herself to ensuring the long-term well-being of the schools, not just for current students, but also for generations of students to come.
As co-founder of Sea Cliff MAKEshop, which offers hands-on STEM programming, Jones has also provided learning opportunities for the district’s children outside the classroom. As a business owner, she acknowledges the importance of a five-year plan to keep the district’s finances, infrastructure and curriculum on track in an ever-changing world.
Ludmar, of Glenwood Landing, is the current board vice president. He has been an advocate for fiscal and social responsibility in the district, taking time to consider items up for a vote and asking questions of the superintendent and administrators.
During board meetings, he consistently reminds fellow trustees that any vote they take will affect students. This is evidence of his genuine passion for the work he is doing. In his three-year term, Ludmar has contributed to policy and guidance reviews, the legislative action committee, and the bond and construction steering committees, demonstrating his familiarity with so many facets of the district.
Also important is his role as president of the Glenwood Landing/Glen Head Civic Association and board member of the North Shore Softball and Gold Coast Little League. His involvement in these arenas allows him to hear directly from residents about what the community would like to see in their schools.
Russo, of Glen Head, is a current board trustee and is seeking her third three-year term. Before becoming a trustee, she served on the executive boards of the Glen Head, middle and high school’s parent teacher organizations, as well as the Coordinating Council.
Her experience as an attorney is invaluable to the board’s responsibilities to review contracts and understand complex legal issues facing the district. As a board trustee, Russo advocated for the institution of the high school’s writing center to assist students with the increasing rigor of the curriculum, and initiated the bus ridership study, which resulted in increased ridership on the buses at no cost to the community. She, too, has taken her role on the board seriously, asking questions during presentations and ensuring that the district consider all options regarding school-related matters.
We were happy to see Jerry Romano, of Sea Cliff, take a run at the board this year. He is one of a handful of residents who attends almost every school board meeting to have his voice heard.
Anthony Stanco, of Sea Cliff, joined the race again this year. His character is admirable, as he seeks to provide a curriculum that places experiences over outcomes, which is refreshing.
Still our endorsement goes to Jones, Ludmar and Russo.