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Island Park Board of Education trustee outlines goals ahead of uncontested election


One candidate will run uncontested in the Island Park Board of Education election on Tuesday. 

Ahead of the polls opening, Kathleen McDonough shared her goals and visions for the board going forward. 

Herald: Why did you decide to run again for the Board of Education?

During my tenure as a School Board Trustee I have gained a deeper understanding of our community and its needs. I believe my willingness to communicate my views with my fellow Board members and District Administrators makes me an asset to the Board. Therefore, I have decided to run for re-election as I continue the journey of further serving the community for the better. In doing so, my goal is to continue representing my community, especially our children. As a lifelong resident of Island Park I have a vested interest in making sure that our school district is successful for future generations.

Herald: What are your main goals and what major issues do you wish to address by becoming a member of the school board?

My main goals have always been to represent and advocate for every member of our community. The representation ranges from our seniors who are on a fixed income, to our taxpaying homeowners to our students as their education is paramount to our societies success. Continuing to provide transparency to our residents is an essential goal to ensuring a sense of trust between the community, Administration and the Board. In addition, I am committed to keeping our taxes below the mandated tax cap and maintaining our vast programs for our learners. Advocating for all stakeholders is something that I consider when voting to set policies and making daily Board decisions.                                                                      

Currently the major issue facing our community is the uncertainty with regards to our litigation with LIPA. LIPA has filed a grievance over what they deem to be an inaccurate assessment regarding their property taxes. To date the Board, Administration and legal counsel continue to await a final decision regarding the matter. Together our Board and Administration have been proactive in cutting spending and investigating all avenues available to prepare for the best possible outcome regarding the court ruling to ensure Island Park Public Schools continues to remain a stable and thriving district.

Herald: Are there any educational courses or curricula that you wish to see implemented that aren't currently offered?

As an educator, I know first hand how a curriculum changes though the years. Providing our teachers with up to date training is imperative to the success of our programs. As we continue to implement Next Generation Learning Standards we must continue to realign our current curriculum and resources. My goal has always been to implement the newest available technologies and curricula for our students to make them competitive with their peers as we prepare our youngest learners for college readiness. While Island Park Schools has always placed a focus on incorporating technology within their curriculum, the pandemic has shown us that technology is imperative to daily lessons. As a district we now more than ever need to further incorporate technology components across all content areas with the implementation of technology components in the programs we invest in moving forward. Furthermore, Lincoln Orens Middle School has been outfitted with state of the art science labs; I would like to see a science lab constructed for our youngest learners at F.X. Hegarty. In doing so, a strong scientific foundation will be established providing students opportunities for enhanced visual and hands on approaches. Over the past year education and how we provide that education within our buildings has changed drastically. I look forward to continuing to work with the Board and Administration to see where we take Island Park Schools for our community.  

Herald: How do you feel you would continue to work alongside the other fellow board members and superintendent?

For the last four years our Island Park Public Schools Board of Education Trustees have remained consistent. While some might view that as a misfortune, I believe that this is a positive. In addition, we have welcomed our former Assistant Superintendent into the role of Superintendent and have welcomed a new Assistant Superintendent. As a team we possess a high level of respect for each other and appreciate the knowledge and experience that each of us individually brings to the table. Our respect enables us to express our viewpoints on specific topics that arise while being open to hearing differences as well. This relationship built on a strong foundation while knowing the individual roles we play has enabled us to create a seamless team productively accomplishing many of the ever-changing policies and mandates that have been imposed on us to alter or develop especially within this past two school years due to the pandemic.

Herald: Why do you think you have the experience necessary to be a good fit on the board?

The experience that I bring to the Board both personally as a taxpaying homeowner and parent and professionally are quite beneficial in continuing to be a fit for this position. As a parent to a fourth and seventh grader, I am able to witness first hand the education, programs and activities we offer as a district while playing an active role in their education. Witnessing National Junior Honor Society, concerts, parent-teacher conferences, sporting events and so forth provide a first hand account of the connection parents, students, staff, administration and the Board all possess. I want my children and their peers to receive a superior education that challenges both their academic and social abilities. As a taxpayer, I realize that our school taxes are a necessary part of the success of our future generations. However, there must be accountability to ensure that the funds are utilized appropriately. Finally as a professional educator, I am grateful that I can offer my knowledge regarding programing and my vast experience educating young children. As an educator, I realize there are resources imperative to creating an environment that will enable all students to succeed.