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Four candidates vie for two seats on the Rockville Centre Board of Education

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There are four candidates running for two seats on the Rockville Centre Board of Education. The three-year term will begin on July 1. Incumbent Tara Hackett is seeking reelection for a second term and Gregg Spaulding served on the board from 2010 to 2017. Christine Ferazani and Joe Hunsberger are active community members interested in serving the district.

All residents have been mailed absentee ballots, which must be returned to the district clerk by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9. There will be a ballot box outside the administration building at 128 Shepherd St. during business hours for those who wish to drop off their ballots instead of mailing them in.

Christine Ferazani

My husband, Larry, and I chose Rockville Centre 10 years ago as a better place to raise and educate our children. We have a senior and sophomore at South Side High School and a sixth-grader at South Side Middle School.

I am a former Assistant District Attorney for the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office. Currently, I am one of the Assistant District Attorneys representing the Village of Rockville Centre. Throughout my 24 years of practice, I have been advocating for clients in civil and criminal cases in local, state and federal courts. I have volunteered extensively to support the Rockville Centre community, serving as the President of Hewitt Elementary School PTA, Rockville Centre Council of PTAs and South Side Middle School. I have served as a trustee on the Board of Stella Maris High School and am a catechist at St. Agnes Cathedral. Volunteering has given me insight into the unique qualities of all levels of our schools and what makes the Rockville Centre School District so special. I have seen the dedication of our educators, administrators, coaches and staff and their commitment to our children’s opportunities. Collaborating with the home and the school communities reveals not only our success, but where the system can be improved and the need for oversight in holding those with whom we have entrusted our children’s future accountable. If elected as a trustee, I will apply my experience as a prosecutor, knowing how and when to ask tough questions, blended with my passion as a mother to advocate for accountability, communication and transparency. These are challenging financial times; we need a board that carefully scrutinizes the decisions of the administration and holds them to task. Our children and the Rockville Centre taxpayers deserve no less.

Gregg Spaulding Sr.

Gregg grew up in Rockville Centre attending Wilson Elementary School, South Side Jr. (Middle) High School, and graduated from South Side High School in 1980. He continued on to Nassau Community College and Long Island University at C.W. Post.

Gregg currently works for the Nassau County Fire Commission as a Fire Communications Technician in the Nassau County 911 Public Safety Center. He is also a National Certified Advanced Emergency Medical Dispatcher and has received several county citations in the past 20 years.

Gregg has been an active community volunteer for over 40 years, a highly decorated former Commanding Officer of the Rockville Centre Auxiliary Police, with numerous Meritorious and Community Awards. He is currently a 30-year firefighter with the Rockville Centre Fire Department, serving with Like Oak Engine Company No. 1.

Gregg was a former co-president of William S. Covert Elementary School PTA. During his tenure with the PTA, he was instrumental in securing funds through a New York State grant that enabled the school to replace an old kindergarten playground. Gregg was first elected to the Rockville Centre Board of Education in 2010 to fill a one-year term, re-elected in 2011 for a three-year term, and then again in 2014 for another three-year term. In his seven years as a trustee on the Board of Education, he was involved in every meeting and worked with his fellow trustees and administrators to support improvements in curriculum, technology, budgets and to the quality of education in Rockville Centre.

Gregg and his wife Linda of 27 years have four children who have gone through the Rockville Centre School District, with their youngest child graduating this year. Additionally, he is a member of the Knights of Columbus, enjoys digital photography and ancestral genealogy.

Tara Hackett

As the current President of the RVC Board of Education, I am enthusiastically running for re-election for another term. I have loved living in Rockville Centre for the past seven years. My husband Jeff and I are the proud parents of two boys, one who attends elementary school at Hewitt and the other who attends South Side Middle School. For the last three years, I have faithfully and honorably served on the Board of Education, consistently keeping the children as the focus for the decision-making and goal-setting that is involved with the role. My background in both university administration and human resources, as well as holding a master’s degree in foundations of education, has well-equipped me to handle the many facets involved in being a strong board member.  

During my term, I am proud to have been a part of enhancing and increasing school security, investing much needed resources into our children’s social and emotional health, supporting budgets that align with the district’s goals and ensuring avenues to make sure every individual child is being reached through our curriculum. This past year, I led the unprecedented task of the district’s superintendent search; a process that took six months to complete and resulted in our selection of a new superintendent after 34 years.  Since then, I have been actively working on laying a strong transition plan in place.

I strongly believe in giving back to the community, especially where it serves our children, and have a proven track record of approachability, level-headedness and strong leadership. It is more important than ever that the children of our district are afforded as much support as possible. I would be honored to be re-elected and pledge to continue stability and continuity in the district, while also guiding us into our next generation of education.

Joe Hunsberger

I graduated from St. John’s Law School in 1997 and began my own law practice in 2001. In 2007, Jennifer and I were married, and we have two children, Joseph, who will be entering fifth grade in September, and Jayne, who will be starting kindergarten in September.  We love and appreciate Wilson Elementary. Since we moved to Rockville Centre in 2015, we have fallen in love with the community and the school district. We have met so many wonderful people, throughout Rockville Centre and at Wilson Elementary. We have become fully vested in our children’s education and we value the school district and all the hard work that goes into educating our children. I am running for the school board to strengthen the community involvement and I believe in government transparency. I think our school district is an asset to our town and can be an even greater asset to our community. I believe that I can bring both business and legal experience to the school board. I am asking for your vote on a platform of transparency and community involvement in the school district. Furthermore I would like to concentrate on special education and the remote learning platform. These are challenging times and we need to assist our school district so that our children will benefit.