The voters have spoken. Tiffany Capers will keep her seat on the Elmont elementary school district education board, while Angel Ramos will join for the first time after ballots were tallied on Tuesday.
With 990 votes, Capers was the clear leader among those on the ballot. Ramos picked up 836 — enough to unseat one of the longest-standing Elmont board members of 15 years, Anthony Maffea.
Both Ramos and Capers will serve three-year terms, which will commence in July when they are officially sworn in.
“It really was a long month, but I’m ready to go in, I’m ready to keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past three years,” Capers said. “We’re just going to amp it up. I’m here to serve, and I’m going to keep delivering for our community.”
Capers previously told the Herald that her top priority would be to rebuild the board’s relationship with the Elmont community, while supporting the district’s staff members and students.
Now that he has been elected, Ramos says his mission is to gain a better understanding of the school board process and those involved. Yet, he still wants to determine areas in which trustees can do better.
Ramos says he has a duty as a parent and Elmont resident to be more involved — not just for his own children, but for all children.
“The community came through for what they wanted,” Ramos said. “I was chosen by them. The communities need my passion.”
Elmont’s $111 million budget for the upcoming academic year also passed with just shy of 1,000 votes. This budget will allow the district to fund two classes of full-day Universal Pre-K in each of the six schools — educating approximately 240 youngsters.
It also will allow for major infrastructure investments, such as the installation of new doors and lockdown systems in all the elementary schools, the replacement of playgrounds at Clara H. Carlson and Stewart Manor, and the expansion of solar energy systems to reduce electricity costs.
Another significant project will be the expansion and renovation of the Hempstead Turnpike building to consolidate districtwide operations. Once completed, the Elmont Road administrative office will be relocated to the facility, which, over time, will reduce building costs, security and general operating expenses, as well as taxpayer dollars, according to the budget report.
“Congratulations to the Elmont community,” Elmont superintendent Kenneth Rosner said at the annual budget certification meeting. “Thank you to the PTAs for coming out and really supporting us.”
The Sewanhaka Central High School $244 million budget passed with 2,477 votes, intended to aid in the implementation of new courses and several improvement projects across all five schools in the district next year.
A proposition to expend funds from the capital reserve also passed. This will help the district hit the ground running on some desperately needed repairs, including improvements to the cafeteria and kitchen at Elmont, Floral Park, H. Frank Carey and New Hyde Park high schools.
All of the schools are slated to upgrade their auditorium projections, lights and sound systems. Other capital improvement plans include renovating Elmont High School’s main office and restoring Sewanhaka High School’s clock tower. Officials said they plan to upgrade security cameras districtwide as well.
New courses under this budget include the expansion of the school research programs throughout the district, implementation of human body systems and Advanced Placement computer science elective courses, and the enhancement of the current real estate and investment course, leading students to take the real estate license exam.
Beginning next year, all freshmen will be required to enroll in a new financial literacy course.