Many challenges are facing the education system, and Sean Douglas is ready to tackle them head on. That’s why he is running for another term on the District 13 Board of Education.
Douglas was first appointed to fill a vacancy, and now is completing his first full term. This year, he is serving as the board president.
“There is a lot of work to be done,” he said, citing the board’s recent decision to create a strategic plan that would lay out the district’s goals for the next five years. “We want to work smarter and harder. We want to make sure we have information to guide whatever we do.”
Douglas said he wants the community to be involved in the school district, and has encouraged parents to come to board meetings.
With the financial pressures created by the tax cap and mandates, Douglas said the district also needs to make sure it remains on solid financial footing, another objective to be addressed in the strategic plan. A district can’t throw money at things without a plan, he added.
Douglas is a strong proponent of having a well-rounded educational program that includes social studies, science, music and art. “We don’t want the curriculum to just be the Common Core,” he said.
Common Core is a reality, he noted, and the district needs to provide teachers with proper training so they can implement the new standards in the classrooms. As for the parents who chose to have their children refuse the state tests, he supports their right to do so.
He has one son in fifth-grade at Howell Road School, and his oldest is a graduate of North High School.
Douglas said that a good board member needs humility, a sense of humor and the ability to listen to others. He described himself as a good communicator and someone who strives to bring people together to work toward a common goal. The trait that perhaps most defines him as a trustee, he said, is his ability to plan ahead. “I’m a visionary,” he said. “I don’t think for the here and now. I look at things long term.”
His top priority it to do what’s best for the children of District 13 while remembering who foots the bill — the taxpayers. Douglas said he looks forward to another three years on the board. “I think my four years in the position have done me well,” he said. “I have no hidden agenda.”
School Board experience: Four years
Lives in: Elmont
Family: Wife, Carol; son Sean Jr., 20; Alexander, 11
Career: Social worker, Uniondale School District; Associate adjunct professor, Long Island University
Other: P.A.L. and Valley Stream Little League coach; mentoring program coordinator