May 8, 2014 | 1678 views
School Board Elections
Three uncontested in District 24
There are three candidates running for three open seats on the District 24 Board of Education. Incumbents Paul DePace and Lisa Pellicane are seeking re-election. Armando Hernandez is running for the seat currently held by Carole Meaney. All terms are for three years.
Voting will take place along with the school budget vote on Tuesday, May 20 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Brooklyn Avenue, William L. Buck and Robert W. Carbonaro schools, and at the Corona Avenue Firehouse.
Paul DePace is the longest-tenured school board member in any of Valley Stream’s three elementary districts. After 33 years on the District 24 Board of Education, he is looking to serve at least three more.
DePace said he believes he has made a difference in the community, and sees himself as fair. He described himself as a good listener, and said he always encourages his fellow board members to vote their conscience, even if he disagrees.
Ultimately, DePace said, the tone of the Board of Education filters down to the schools, so it is important for trustees to work together.
While there is a business side to education, he said a school district should not be run like a business. Rather, he said, it should be treated like a family, where people come first. That means the district can’t provide a one-size-fits-all curriculum, but rather offer numerous opportunities to benefit every student. The district could easily cut programs like art to save money, he said, but that would be a disservice to students.
In his most recent term, DePace said he is proud that the district has added a curriculum director and produced tax-cap-compliant budgets. This year, he is serving as board president, a post he has held several times in the past.
DePace said that when making a decision, he tries to see all sides. As a former teacher, he noted that he doesn’t just think about the district’s bottom line during negotiations, but also how a contract affects its employees.
“I think the community sees how fair I am,” he said. “I listen to all sides.”