Voters resoundingly approved the Oyster Bay-East Norwich Central School District’s budget of $64,414,491 on Tuesday, also giving a thumbs up to the propositions on the ballot, allowing the district to move forward with its mission, which Superintendent Francesco Ianni said is to continue working on making Oyster Bay one of the best and most innovative school districts in the nation.
Laurie Kowalsky garnered the most votes — 703 — guaranteeing her a third term with Caitlin Amatrudo coming in second, securing her first win as a school board member.
“I am very grateful for the community support,” Kowalsky said. “This overwhelming support for my candidacy means the community is happy with the direction of the district.”
Kowalsky, who is married with children, is an intellectual property attorney and has been serving as the president of the board of education. She is committed to improving test scores and grade-school ratings. She continues to be concerned about the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on students and will work to be sure they get the support they need and not fall behind. Kowalsky’s dream is for one of the school’s in the district to be designated as a Blue Ribbon school.
Amatrudo, a registered intensive care nurse, is also married with children. She supports the board’s work and is looking forward to helping them move forward.
“I’m so happy and so thrilled that the people of Oyster Bay chose me,” she said. “I’m humbled and honored and am really looking forward to serving our community and our children.”
Approval of the budget was overwhelming, with 770 voting yes and only 282 voting no. Ianni said he was pleased with the results and the turnout.
“The number shows that the community is proud of our students and the work they are doing,” he said. “With these numbers we will continue to empower our students to excellence.”
The passage of proposition two will allow for the district to utilize no more than $200,000 from its technology reserve fund for board approved projects. The third proposition’s passage allows for capital improvements throughout the district estimated at $750,000 to move forward.