Frank Chiachiere and Patrick Heaney
Long-time school board member Frank Chiachiere is being opposed by Patrick Heaney, who also ran last year, for one of three seats up on the District 13 Board of Education this year. The winner will receive a three-year term.
The District 13 Interschool PTA and the Educational Foundation will be co-sponsoring a Meet the Candidates night on Wednesday, May 14 at 7 p.m. at the James A. Dever School. Members of the public will be invited to ask questions.
Voting will take place along with the school budget vote on Tuesday, May 20 from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. at James A. Dever, Howell Road, Wheeler Avenue and Willow Road schools.
When it comes to his two decades of service on the District 13 Board of Education, Frank Chiachiere has a simple motto: “Every child, every day.”
The long-time trustee is running for his eighth term, and is facing a challenge for the first time in several years. Chiachiere was most recently president of the District 13 board from 2010-12, and is currently vice president of the Central High School District Board of Education.
Although his children are long out of school, Chiachiere wants to continue serving the district. “Sending my kids to Valley Stream 13 was the best thing I could have done for them,” he said.
Chiachiere said that he is particularly proud of the district’s music program. He also wants to make sure that the children with the greatest needs are taken care of.
Recent accomplishments of the Board of Education, Chiachiere cited, included hiring a new superintendent three years ago, developing tax-cap-compliant budgets, and refining the curriculum. He said the board has been working to ensure that teachers receive the proper training to implement the new Common Core standards.
While he supports the idea of national education standards, he expressed his displeasure with how the state Education Department rolled out Common Core and corresponding assessments. “A test should measure what you know,” he said. “They shouldn’t be a ‘gotcha.’”
Chiachiere said that local school districts must continue to put pressure on the state Education Department to get necessary reform.